Polk County Sheriff’s Office human trafficking sting, known as Fall Haul II, netted 160 arrests, including Disney employees, law enforcement officers, and schoolteachers, in their week-long, multi-agency operation that began Aug. 30.
“The online prostitution industry enables traffickers and allows for the continued victimization of those who are being trafficked,” Sheriff Grady Judd said during a press conference Friday. “Our goal is to identify victims, offer them help, and arrest those who are fueling the exploitation of human beings (Johns) and those profiting from the exploitation of human beings.”
Judd added that prostitution resulted in “exploitation, disease, dysfunction, drug and alcohol addiction, violence, and broken families.”
Of the 160 individuals arrested, 16 were residents of Polk County, 15 were residents of other states, some as far away as California, Michigan and New York, and seven were suspected of being illegal immigrants.
There were “noteworthy Johns,” starting with a Georgia deputy police chief. Jason DiPrima tried to hire an undercover detective for prostitution, regardless of his nearly 30-year service with the Cartersville, Ga, police department. DiPrima has since resigned from his position.
More dishonorable mentions were 41-year-old Cameron Burke of Ocoee, Carlos Gonzalez, 36, of Davenport, and John Layton, 26, of Gotha.
Burke, a computer technician formerly at the Oak Ridge High School in Orange County, was out on bond for “lewd and lascivious battery on a 15-year-old student” when arrested at the Fall Haul II. Grady denoted the man had engaged in sexual activity with the student on multiple occasions in his office at the high school.
Gonzales, a math teacher at New Dimensions High School in Osceola County, was arrested for two counts of soliciting. Grady noted that the teacher remarked he “wasn’t going to have sex” when taken into custody. Instead, he came “just to give them (prostitutes/undercover detectives) money.”
Layton was apprehended for solicitation after responding to an online escort advertisement. He is a non-faculty coach at West Orange High School in Orange County. Grady remarked that the suspect questioned how long the arrest process would take because he “had track practice in the morning.”
Two individuals connected with Disney were also arrested. One a bellhop at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort and another a Disney-contracted photographer.