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160 arrested in US human trafficking sting — Analysis

Two teachers, a Disney employee and a police officer were all among the people nabbed.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office and other authorities in the US state of Florida have rounded up 160 people in a week-long human trafficking sting operation dubbed Fall Haul 2, County Sheriff Grady Judd announced on Friday in a press conference. 

A Disney employee was among those charged, along with multiple teachers from schools, a deputy chief of police, a corrections officer and 26 married men. A total of 86 people were accused selling sex, with 65 others trying to purchase it. They also shared criminal records that contained a staggering 419 felonies, 619 misdemeanors, and 26 married men. Only 16 were from Polk County. The majority of the rest were from other parts of Florida and fifteen were out of state.

Jason DiPrima (Deputy Police Chief) from Cartersville, Georgia was captured last Thursday. DiPrima answered an online advert by an undercover investigator and was the biggest catch of the Fall Haul. DiPrima, a Deputy Police Chief of Cartersville, Georgia was arrested after he slipped out of an undercover Drug Enforcement Agency cruiser and handed over $180 as well as a packet of White Claw Hard Seltzer before being taken to court. Judd had just learned of DiPrima’s downfall and had already quit his post.

Cameron Burke, an Orange County High School computer technician, was released on bond. After being accused of having sex in the classroom with a fifteen-year-old student, which he also shared with police, they took him into custody again. Math teacher Carlos Gonzalez attempted to squirm out of being caught with two prostitutes by claiming he had just planned to give them money and skip the sex, while gym teacher John Layton claimed he had to be at track practice in the morning and thus couldn’t spend too long being arrested for trying to pay an undercover officer for a sex act.

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Disney employee is nabbed for child predator sting

Guillermo Perez worked at Disney as a bellhop and was later arrested. Keith Nieves, a Lake Correctional Institution officer was also arrested for trying to have sex in disguise with an undercover detective.

The Sheriff’s Office revealed it had found two human trafficking victims in the course of the probe, plus five potential victims, suggesting there were more among the crowd who were reluctant to come forward. If a person is arrested in Florida for prostitution, they can be released from jail.

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