During “Operation Fall Haul II,” 160 trafficking suspects were arrested in just one week by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in Florida. Deputies not only searched for those involved in the illegal activity but banned together to locate victims as well. At least two victims were found, according to local Tampa Bay news station Fox 13.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd shared his department’s plans for the victims located during the sting. “Our goal is to start services the moment that they are taken into custody and to treat them as what they are, victims, not as suspects in a criminal event,” he said. Of the 160 trafficking suspects, several were school teachers. A state corrections officer and two Disney employees were arrested as well.
Carlos Gonzales is a math teacher from Osceola County who was identified in the operation, along with a physical education teacher named John Layton from Orange County. One of the teachers was reportedly wearing a shirt with the school’s logo while committing a crime. Cameron Burke was an IT expert at a high school in Ocoee who was taken into custody for soliciting a prostitute. Burke was previously arrested for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old student but bonded out of jail.
Week-long Florida sex trafficking sting nabs 160 people, including a deputy police chief, school teachers, and Disney World employees. pic.twitter.com/rKOBH8ASSq
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) September 11, 2022
At a press conference held Friday (Sept. 9), Judd shared that Deputy Chief Jason DiPrima of the Cartersville Police Department in Georgia “is no longer a police officer.” DiPrima is facing charges for soliciting another for prostitution, lewdness or assignation from “Operation Fall Haul II.” The deputy resigned on Thursday (Sept. 8).
While speaking to the media, Judd shared that one of the trafficking victims was 10 weeks pregnant and had been taking drugs such as fentanyl. He added that the woman was “hoping and praying that naturally, she could abort the baby.” Officials stated that 16 of those arrested are from Polk County.