Human Trafficking Bust Results in 219 Arrests, Including THREE Disney Employees

Arrest at Disney
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This is truly a real-life nightmare.

In a significant victory against the despicable crime of human trafficking, a recent bust in Polk County has resulted in the arrest of several individuals involved in this heinous trade. This operation, led by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and its Sheriff Grady Judd, has struck a significant blow against this illegal industry. 

Polk County, situated in central Florida, has unfortunately been identified as a hot spot for human trafficking activities. Due to its proximity to larger metropolitan areas like Orlando and Tampa, it has become a prime location for traffickers to exploit vulnerable individuals. Recognizing this alarming trend, Sheriff Grady Judd made it his mission to aggressively combat this issue and bring those responsible to justice.

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Credit: Disney and Canva

Horror in Central Florida

Every year, millions of tourists flock to Florida in hopes of having a magical, positive vacation. Walt Disney World Resort has gained a reputation for offering incredibly special, once-in-a-lifetime experiences for their Guests. Visiting the “Disney bubble” gives Guests an experience truly unlike any other.

Another reason that families love visiting Disney is because of the incredible safety measures that Disney puts into place. Every ride is meticulously inspected for safety in order to ensure that all riders can enjoy the experience in a carefree way. Disney also performs thorough security checks at every Park gate, hires lots of Cast Members to monitor suspicious behaviors, and enforces strict rules for all Guests to follow. This combination of things really allows for visitors to enjoy their vacation without the stresses of everyday life.

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Credit: Disney

Unfortunately, Disney can not stop all evil and danger from entering their gates. Recently, numerous Cast Members have been arrested for reasons that are horrible to comprehend. Now, more cast members have been arrested for being involved in human trafficking.

Related: Disney World Cast Member Among 13 Arrested In Child Sex Sting

An Unimaginable Bust

This week, 219 people were arrested by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. According to the office, 119 prostitutes were arrested, 21 of them which who were identified as possible victims of human trafficking. They also arrested 83 people for “soliciting a prostitute and traveling to the undercover location to negotiate having sex in exchange for money,” and 17 more for “deriving proceeds from prostitution or aiding and abetting prostitutes.”

This shocking number of arrests is only worsened by the professions of some of the arrested. A high school teacher and athletic director, as well as three Walt Disney World employees, were arrested in this operation. The public is horrified by this realization due to the close access these people had to children on a daily basis.

While this operation was highly successful, it is still absolutely devastating to see what happened to the Central Florida community. We hope the victims of this situation find recovery during this time.

About Eva Miller

Eva was born and raised in the beautiful state of Oregon but has since relocated and lives in New York City. Since she was young, Eva has loved to perform in musicals, especially Disney ones! Through performing, Disney’s music became the soundtrack of her childhood. Today, Eva loves to write about all the exciting happenings for the Walt Disney Company. In her free time, Eva loves to travel, spend time in nature, and go to Broadway shows. Her favorite Disney movie is 'Lilo and Stitch,' and her favorite Park is Disney's Animal Kingdom.