Disney Workers Caught In Human Trafficking Investigation

Of nearly 160 people arrested in a Florida human trafficking sting, authorities apprehended Disney employees as well as local teachers in the operation.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office in Winter Haven, along with other agencies, conducted a seven-day operation that is said to always ensnare Disney employees. At the Friday press conference, Sheriff Grady Judd said his office “always captures Disney workers” in undercover investigations.

In fact, he quipped that “where would we be with an undercover operation and no Disney employees?”

Police arrested a Disney photographer who reportedly purchased a bag of Skittles to give to the undercover detective.

A Disney bellhop, identified by police as Guillermo Perez, was also charged with trying to have relations with an undercover detective for $80.

Also arrested was 26-year-old gym teacher John Layton for soliciting a prostitute for $40. The educator told the sheriff that he had to conduct track practice the following morning, and thus could not be incarcerated.

Sheriff Judd told him that “the students have track practice,” but “you have jail practice.” Layton is employed at West Orange High School in Orange County.

Another teacher, 34-year-old Carlos Gonzalez, told law enforcement that he was just going to give the two prostitutes money without having sex, but the math instructor was also arrested.

A former school employer was swept up in the sting who already faced charges of having sex with a 15-year-old student at Oak Ridge High School in Orange County. He was a computer technician at the school when he was previously arrested.

Sheriff Judd said 43-year-old Cameron Burke became emotional when handcuffed and said he was already facing criminal charges.

An out-of-state arrest ensnared Deputy Police Chief Jason DiPrima with the Cartersville, Georgia, Police Department. Judd said that DiPrima has since resigned and faces charges for trying to employ an undercover prostitute for $180 and a pack of White Claw.

Human trafficking is a tragic dilemna made worse by the participation of those who are trusted to be protectors, not predators. Whether Disney employees, educators, or law enforcement, it is an inexcusable crime.