Monday, October 02, 2023 by Richard Brown
Over 200 individuals, including a teacher and three Disney employees, have been arrested during a weeklong human trafficking sting operation in Polk County, Florida.
The sting, called “Traffic Stop 2,” resulted in the apprehension of 219 people, Sheriff Grady Judd announced during a press conference. Of these arrests, 83 suspects were detained for soliciting a prostitute. (Related: FBI finds 200 trafficking victims, 59 missing kids in two-week operation.)
The investigation revealed 21 potential human trafficking victims among the 119 individuals arrested for prostitution-related charges.
“This is the single largest undercover operation of its kind that we’ve worked in the history of the sheriff’s office,” Judd said. “Many times, they grab these victims off the streets. They provide shelter, clothes, food, drugs, and then they indenture them into this horrible life of prostitution.”
Two individuals, Maria Guzman and Freddy Escalona, faced charges of human trafficking and deriving proceeds from prostitution.
Escalona was accused of coercing a woman into prostitution after loaning her $2,200 to repair her vehicle, which she couldn’t repay. He was taken into custody after disclosing that he had “several” women working for him. Despite her debt being settled, he forced the woman to continue as a prostitute.
Guzman organized appointments for two young women she was prostituting, taking a significant portion of their earnings, estimated between 60 and 70 percent. She had lured the women from Minnesota to Orlando under the guise of working in construction, which ultimately meant engaging in sexual encounters.
Judd said: “She didn’t define what the construction meant. They were gonna construct sexual encounters.”
Russell Rogers, an athletic director at Vanguard School and a teacher at Auburndale High School, was arrested for negotiating to have sex with a prostitute.
Sheriff Judd noted that Rogers, who is married with three children, was concerned about picking up his wife and daughter from the airport after his arrest.
In response, Polk County Schools expressed disappointment and stated that such behavior has no place in the school system.
Judd revealed that Rogers also attempted to have unprotected sex, raising concerns about his proximity to children.
Three Disney employees – Kenneth Green, Marquis Nixon and Carlos Ro – were arrested for soliciting prostitutes during the operation. Green served as a training coordinator, Nixon worked in security and Ro worked as a custodian.
“What would an Op be if we didn’t arrest someone employed by Disney?” Judd quipped.
One of the suspects arrested mentioned leaving his daughter alone at home with the family dog to meet with a prostitute, prompting Judd to humorously remark that the dog’s response was “woof,” which he interpreted as a “yes” in dog language.
Out of those arrested, 35 were suspected of being in the country illegally, hailing from countries such as Cuba, Chile, Venezuela, Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia or the Bahamas.
Additionally, 41 suspects claimed to be married; 13 reported receiving government assistance; and 42 were found in possession of illegal drugs.
In total, detectives filed 44 felony charges and 242 misdemeanor charges during the operation. Judd highlighted that in addition to the record number of suspects arrested, the operation identified 21 human trafficking victims, further emphasizing the importance of collaboration with social services organizations to help these individuals escape exploitative situations.
Visit Trafficking.news for more stories about human trafficking.
Watch Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd announce arrests made in connection with human trafficking.
This video is from the HALOROCK channel on Brighteon.com.
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