POLK COUNTY, Fla. — Investigators in Florida said that a human trafficking investigation netted 160 arrests over seven days, including one suspect who is a Disney employee and two others who are teachers.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrests in a news release, saying the operation was known as “Operation Fall Haul 2.” Over the course of the operation, investigators said that they identified as many as seven potential victims of human trafficking.
“The online prostitution industry enables traffickers and allows for the continued victimization of those who are being trafficked,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at a news conference, WFTV reported. “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. Prostitution is not a victimless crime — it results in exploitation, disease, dysfunction, drug and alcohol addiction, violence and broken families.”
Guillermo Perez was named as one of the suspects arrested. In the news release, deputies said that Perez agreed to pay $80 to have sex with an undercover detective. Investigators said Perez works as a bellhop at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.
A self-employed photographer frequently contracted by Disney was arrested, deputies said in the news release. Samy Claude is accused of trying to arrange to have sex with an undercover detective. Investigators said when he arrived at the agreed-upon location, he had a bag of sour Skittles for the detective.
Two teachers were among those arrested, deputies said in the news release. John Layton, a physical education teacher at an Orange County, Florida, high school was arrested after arriving to meet an undercover detective he believed to be a prostitute, while wearing a school track-and-field shirt.
During Layton’s arrest, he allegedly asked how long it would take because he had track practice in the morning, WFLA reported.
“No, the students have track practice in the morning; you have jail practice in the morning,” Judd said.
Carlos Gonzalez, who works as a math teacher at New Dimensions High School in central Florida, was also arrested for two counts of soliciting a prostitute, deputies said in the news release.
A former computer technician for an Orange County School, Cameron Burke was arrested on charges of soliciting a prostitute, deputies said in the news release. Burke was out of jail on bond at the time of his arrest, facing charges for lewd and lascivious battery on a 15-year-old student with whom Burke had allegedly been having sex.
Deputies said in the news release that some alleged prostitutes were also arrested, including David Morton, who allegedly arrived at the residence completely naked below the waist, and told detectives he was “only there for a visit.”
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