Law enforcement officials in Polk County, Florida, announced Wednesday that four Disney employees were among the over 100 people arrested in a successful human trafficking sting.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office announced an end to its six-day undercover human trafficking investigation that led to 108 arrests, including four Disney employees, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a press conference, according to NBC South Florida.
“The arrests of a human trafficker and four child predators alone makes this whole operation worthwhile,” Judd said. “Our goal is to identify victims, offer them help, and find and arrest those who are profiting from the exploitation of human beings.”
“Where there is prostitution, there is exploitation, disease, dysfunction, and broken families,” added Judd.
Undercover detectives spent six days pretending to be online prostitutes posting advertisements as well as “johns” looking for a prostitute, according to the sheriff’s office. Judd said some of the “johns” allegedly engaged in sexually suggestive communications with those whom they believed were children.
During the press conference, Judd called one of the four Disney employees caught in Polk County’s “Operation March Sadness 2” human trafficking sting, 27-year-old Xavier Jackson, a “predator.”
An undercover detective posing as a 14-year-old girl was contacted by Jackson, who allegedly sent sexual images and graphic descriptions of acts he wanted to do, according to the sheriff. Jackson was arrested and a warrant was obtained for three counts of transmission of material harmful to a minor and one count of unlawful use of a two-way communication device, the sheriff’s office’s press release said.
“He thought he was chatting with a 14-year-old. He sent photos of himself doing things that [are] totally inappropriate,” the Polk County Sheriff said. Jackson allegedly bragged about working at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, according to Judd. (RELATED: Disney CEO Opposes FL Parental Rights Bill After Media Pressure Campaign)
The department also noted that the other three Disney employees arrested were allegedly searching for a prostitute but found undercover detectives instead.
Recently, Disney CEO Bob Chapek referred to the company’s initial silence on Florida’s parental rights bill, which aims to outlaw the teaching of “sexual orientation and gender identity” in K-3 curricula in any manner deemed inappropriate, as a “disappointment.” H.B. 1557 would also require that schools inform parents and get consent before beginning select health treatments for students.
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hit back at Disney’s condemnation of the Florida bill. “In Florida, our policies got to be based on the best interest of Florida citizens, not on the musing of woke corporations,” DeSantis said in a set of remarks publicized by Fox News.