Two Disney employees, state corrections officer, teachers among 150 nabbed in sex trafficking sting

Police in Florida announced on Friday that they conducted a sex sting operation netting 160 arrests that included two Disney employees, a state corrections officer, several teachers, and a deputy police chief from Georgia who has now resigned.

Sex workers and solicitors were caught in the week-long operation called “Operation Fall Haul II” according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. The sting was meant to locate victims of sex trafficking. At least two were found and there could potentially be more, according to Sheriff Grady Judd.

“Two trafficking victims, and another five possible victims, were identified. All prostitutes taken into custody were offered services by the social services organizations at the operation. Follow up will be conducted with those who are suspected to be sex-trafficked or exploited,” a statement from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office advised.

“Our goal is to start services the moment that they are taken into custody and to treat them as what they are, victims, not as suspects in a criminal event,” Judd stated at a press conference concerning the operation.

(Video Credit: Polk Sheriff)

Cameron Burke, a high school IT expert from the city of Ocoee, was originally arrested for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old student. He was out on bond and got nailed during the sting for soliciting a prostitute, according to Fox News.

Carlos Gonzales, an Osceola County math teacher, and John Layton, an Orange County physical education teacher, were snared during the operation as well.

A bellhop and a contracted photographer for Disney were also among those arrested in the sting.

Jason DiPrima, a deputy police chief of the Cartersville Police Department in Georgia, was caught in the raid and is “no longer a police officer,” according to Judd.

The Cartersville Police Department announced in a press release that DiPrima resigned from his post on Thursday. The department had previously placed him on administrative leave pending an internal investigation but he evidently knew what the result of it would be and beat them to the punch.

The Georgia deputy police chief was arrested for soliciting another for prostitution, lewdness, or assignation.

“The online prostitution industry enables traffickers and allows for the continued victimization of those who are being trafficked. Our goal is to identify victims, offer them help, and arrest those who are fueling the exploitation of human beings (Johns) and those profiting from the exploitation of human beings. Prostitution is not a victimless crime – it results in exploitation, disease, dysfunction, drug and alcohol addiction, violence, and broken families,” Judd said via a statement.

Notes on the operation from the statement included:

  • 26 of those arrested told detectives that they are married.
  • Detectives charged those arrested with a total of 52 felonies and 216 misdemeanors.
  • Criminal histories of everyone arrested included 419 previous felonies and 619 previous misdemeanors. Some of the prior histories include charges for kidnapping, robbery, aggravated battery, and sex offenses.
  • 15 of the arrested were from other states and one was from Puerto Rico (Georgia, Michigan, New York, California, Mississippi, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Arizona).
  • 16 suspects live in Polk County.
  • 12 suspects told detectives they receive government assistance.
  • Detectives seized cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, MDMA (Ecstasy), and marijuana, from those arrested during the operation.
  • 7 of the arrested are suspected of being in the country illegally.
  • The oldest person arrested is 64 years old, while the youngest is 19 years old.

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