In a week-long human trafficking sting operation called Fall Haul 2, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and other officials in the US state of Florida have apprehended 160 persons, County Sheriff Grady Judd stated on Friday during a news conference.
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A Disney employee, several instructors, a deputy police chief, a prison officer, and 26 married men were among those accused. Between them, the 86 people who were reportedly selling sex and the 65 others who were allegedly seeking to buy it all had criminal histories that totaled 419 felonies and 619 misdemeanours. Only 16 of them truly came from Polk County; the majority were Floridians from other counties, and 15 were from other states.
The most notable capture of the Fall Haul may have been Cartersville, Georgia’s deputy police chief Jason DiPrima, who was apprehended on Thursday after responding to an undercover detective’s internet post. DiPrima gave the phoney hooker $180 and a pack of White Claw Hard Seltzer before the deputies put him in handcuffs as he fled a polygraph training seminar in an undercover Drug Enforcement Agency car. By the time Judd revealed the specifics of his fall to media, he had already resigned from his post.
After being suspected of having sex with a 15-year-old student at the school, Cameron Burke, a recently dismissed computer technician at an Orange County high school, turned out to be out on bail. He revealed this information to police when they again detained him. While gym teacher John Layton claimed he had to be at track practise in the morning and thus couldn’t spend too much time being arrested for attempting to pay an undercover officer for a sex act, math teacher Carlos Gonzalez claimed he had just planned to give them money and skip the sex in an effort to get away with being caught with two prostitutes.
The Disney employee, Guillermo Perez, who works as a bellhop at the theme park, was detained after paying an undercover officer $80 for sex. Officer Keith Nieves of the Lake Correctional Institution was similarly detained after attempting to have sex with a police officer in disguise.
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Five prospective victims and two confirmed victims of human trafficking were uncovered throughout the investigation, according to the Sheriff’s Office, raising the possibility that there were yet more people in the throng who were unwilling to come forward. If a Florida prostitute identifies oneself as a victim of human trafficking, their arrest may be overturned.