A six-day undercover human trafficking operation in Florida has resulted in the detainment of 108 people, including accused child sexual predators and those looking for prostitutes. Four Disney workers and a retired judge were among those arrested, according to authorities. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said, “The arrests of a human trafficker and four child predators alone makes this whole operation worthwhile. Where there is prostitution, there is exploitation, disease, dysfunction and broken families.”
According to CBS News, detectives discovered prostitutes advertising online through several websites and social media platforms to find potential johns. The investigation, which they dubbed “Operation March Sadness 2” also identified people who they believed were improperly communicating with children.
The sheriff’s office explained that undercover officers spoke with the suspects online before meeting them in person and arresting them. The prostitutes were also approached by members of anti-trafficking organizations and offered assistance and therapy. Four Disney workers were among those arrested. Xavier Jackson, 27, worked for Walt Disney as a lifeguard at the Polynesian Resort. He reportedly sent indecent images and texts to an undercover officer posing as a 14-year-old girl and has been charged with three counts of distributing harmful material to a juvenile and one count of illegal communication.
Wilkason Fidele, 24, who worked at Walt Disney World’s Tomorrowland’s Cosmic Restaurant, Shubham Malave, 27, a software developer for Disney on a work visa from India, and Ralph Leese, 45, a Disney IT employee were also identified as having attempted to solicit a prostitute. Additionally, former Cook County judge Daniel Peters, 66, was charged with soliciting prostitution.