A sheriff's office in Florida says 108 people were arrested, including a retired judge and several Disney employees, during a sting operation to combat human trafficking, prostitution, and child sexual abuse. Most of those busted in "Operation March Sadness 2" were arrested for seeking a prostitute or "offering to commit prostitution," according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, but there was also one arrest for human trafficking and four for child sexual offenses. During the six-day operation, "undercover detectives communicated online with the suspects and arranged for a meetup at a location where they were arrested after their arrival," the sheriff's office says.
The sheriff's office says Xavier Jackson, a 27-year-old lifeguard at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, sent graphic sexual images and messages to an undercover detective who was posing as a 14-year-old girl, CBS News reports. Disney says Jackson and two other employees charged with soliciting prostitutes have been placed on unpaid leave. The company said a fourth suspect identified by the sheriff's office is no longer an employee. Others arrested included 42-year-old James Compton, who allegedly told police that he's a father of eight and had left one of his children at a soccer game so he could visit a prostitute, reports the Orlando Sentinel.
"The arrests of a human trafficker and four child predators alone makes this whole operation worthwhile," said Sheriff Grady Judd. "The online prostitution industry enables traffickers and victimizes those who are being trafficked." His office goes on to say that members of anti-trafficking organizations were at the residence used for the sting operation to determine whether prostitutes were trafficking victims. One woman, 32-year-old Tiffany Nash, was arrested after she went to the residence to check on a victim. The sheriff's office says the investigation found that Nash "repeatedly threatened violence against the victim if she didn't prostitute herself" and "would take all money derived from the victim's prostitution." (Read more Florida stories.)