160 arrested in US human trafficking case

A Disney employee, a cop, a prison guard and two teachers were among those arrested

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office and other authorities in the U.S. state of Florida have arrested 160 people in a week-long sting operation dubbed Fall Haul 2, the county sheriff announced on Friday. Grady Judd at a press conference.

Those charged included a Disney employee, several teachers, an assistant police chief, a prison officer and 26 married men. Some 86 allegedly sold sex while 65 tried to buy it, and between them they had criminal records containing 419 felonies and 619 misdemeanors. Only 16 of them were actually from Polk County, most from elsewhere in Florida, and 15 were from out of state.

Deputy Chief of Police Jason DiPrima, of Cartersville, Georgia, and perhaps the Fall Haul’s most important catch, was arrested last Thursday after responding to an online ad from an undercover detective. Ducking out of a polygraph training shop in an undercover Drug Enforcement Agency cruiser, DiPrima handed $180 and a packet of White Claw Hard Seltzer to the fake prostitute before deputies handcuffed her. He had resigned from his post by the time Judd shared details of his downfall with reporters.

Cameron Burke, a recently fired computer technician at an Orange County high school, was found to be on bail after being accused of having sex with a 15-year-old student at school, a detail that he shared with the police as they arrested him again. Math teacher Carlos Gonzalez tried to squirm not to be caught with two prostitutes claiming he just planned to give them money and avoid sex, while gym teacher John Layton claimed he had to be at track practice in the morning and therefore couldn’t spend too much time being arrested for trying to pay an undercover officer for a sex act.

READ MORE: Disney employee arrested in pedophile predator sting

Guillermo Perez, the Disney employee, worked as a bellboy at the park and was arrested after paying an undercover detective $80 for sex. Lake Corrections Officer Keith Nieves was also arrested after he attempted to have sex with a disguised cop.

The sheriff’s office said it found two victims of human trafficking during the investigation, along with five potential victims, suggesting there were more among the crowd who were reluctant to come forward. A person arrested for prostitution in Florida can have their arrest overturned if they claim to be a victim of human trafficking.


RT

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