WINTER HAVEN, FLORIDA — Police in Central Florida arrested 160 people for sex crimes, including two Disney employees, several teachers, a state corrections officer and a Georgia deputy police chief as part of a week-long sting operation. The seven-day undercover human trafficking operation, “Fall Haul 2,” utilized undercover detectives who acted as prostitutes, Polk County Sheriff’s Office announced on Friday.
At least two victims of human trafficking were rescued, and Sheriff Grady Judd said more could come forward in the future.
“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 said at a press conference on Friday. “It is important for us to understand that if there were no ‘Johns’ there were no customers, there would be no prostitutes. And there would be no human trafficking.
MORE DISNEY EMPLOYEES ARRESTED
The Disney employees arrested were identified as Guillermo Perez, a 57-year-old bellhop at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, and Samy Claude, a 26-year-old photographer often contracted by the company.
Fall Haul 2 marks the third operation this year in which Polk County Sheriff’s Department arrests Disney employees as part of a sting targeting human trafficking, prostitution and other sex crimes. In March, four men who worked for Disney were among 108 arrestees resulting from “Operation March Sadness 2.” The department made another dozen arrests in June as part of “Operation Child Protector 2,” including a Disney bus driver.
“Where would we be with an undercover operation and no Disney employees? Oh yes, we always have Disney employees,” Judd said.
“WE’RE GOING TO LOCK YOU UP”
Jason DiPrima, Deputy Police Chief in Cartersville, Georgia, was arrested after he gave payment to the undercover detective, which included $180 and a pack of White Claw Hard Seltzer, according to Fox News. The Cartersville Police Department placed DiPrima on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.
Judd closed Friday’s press conference with a warning for future predators – referred to as “Johns” – emphasizing that no job or title exempts them from the consequences of breaking the law.
“Whatever status they claim in life, we’re going to go after them,” he said. “The ‘Johns’ need to know: we’re going to have other operations, and we’re going to lock you up.”