Four Disney employees were among more than 100 people who were arrested on Wednesday as a result of a Florida human-trafficking sting, officials said. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd on Wednesday announced the arrest of 108 people as part of “Operation March Sadness 2,” a six-day undercover operation.
According to the Polk County Sheriff’s office, the operation began on March 8, 2022 and involved law enforcement agencies from across the region. Detectives identified prostitutes who posted online advertisements with the intent to identify and free any victims who were being forced into prostitution, or anyone participating in the trafficking of victims. ere children—four men were arrested for preying on children online,” wrote the Sheriff’s office in a statement.
One of the Disney employees was a 27-year-old man who worked as a lifeguard at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Wednesday. The lifeguard is accused of sending sexualized images to an undercover detective who was posing online as a 14-year-old girl.
Another Disney employee busted in the sting was a 24-year-old man who worked at the Cosmic restaurant. Other Disney employees arrested were a 45-year-old IT worker and a 27-year-old software developer, Judd said. “Four arrests of this magnitude in a week is simply remarkable,” the sheriff said at a news conference.
Undercover detectives communicated online with the suspects and arranged for a meetup at a location where they were arrested after their arrival, Judd said. In addition to the Disney employees, the sting also led to the arrest of a retired judge from the Chicago area. Another man told detectives he is married with eight children, and had left one of his children at a soccer game taking place nearby in order to meet with a prostitute.