Pleno.News – 03/16/2022 21:57 | updated on 03/17/2022 09:43
Four Disney employees in Orlando are among more than 100 detained in an operation against human trafficking in the state of Florida, local authorities announced on Wednesday (16).
At a news conference, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd reported the arrest of 108 people as part of Operation March 2 Sadness, a six-day undercover action in Florida that focused on human trafficking, prostitution and child abuse.
The detainees’ ages range from 17 to 67, according to the details of the investigation.
One of the detained Disney employees is a 27-year-old man who worked as a lifeguard at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Judd explained.
“This man allegedly sent sexual images of himself and sexual messages to a detective who was disguised as a 14-year-old girl online,” the sheriff reported.
Another Disney employee arrested is a 24-year-old man who worked at the Cosmic restaurant. The other two are a 45-year-old information technology specialist and a 27-year-old software programmer.
“Four arrests of this magnitude in one week is simply remarkable,” Judd commented at the press conference.
During the operation, detectives identified the prostitutes who placed ads online, as well as the customers who sought them out, officials said.
The intent was to “identify and release victims who were being forced into prostitution (human trafficking) or anyone involved in trafficking,” Polk’s sheriff’s office said.
“Undercover detectives contacted the suspects online and arranged a meeting at a location where they were detained,” Judd revealed, “without specifying where.
According to data released by police, one of the detainees, a 66-year-old man, told detectives he was a retired Chicago judge, while another, 42, said he was married and had eight children.
A list of “highlight” human trafficking suspects released by local authorities includes a woman, Tiffany Nash, 32, of Orlando, who was arrested for trafficking another woman for prostitution.
– The online prostitution industry favors traffickers and victimizes those who are trafficked. Our aim is to identify victims, offer help and find and arrest those who profit from the exploitation of human beings. Where there is prostitution, there is exploitation, disease, dysfunction and broken families.
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