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4 Disney employees among over 100 arrested in human trafficking sting, police say

Over 100 people were arrested after a six-day long human trafficking sting in Florida.(Polk County Sheriff's Office)

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (Gray News) – Police in Florida arrested over 100 people, including four Disney employees, as part of a nearly weeklong human trafficking sting operation.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested 108 suspects as part of its “Operation March Sadness 2″ undercover human trafficking investigation which began March 8.

Detectives with the department said they identified prostitutes who posted online advertisements as well as the “johns” who responded to the ads. Authorities said they were intending to identify and free any victims who were being forced into prostitution and anyone participating in the trafficking of the victims.

The detectives also said they identified and investigated adults who engaged in online communications with people they believed were children, with the intent to commit sexual acts with them. The sheriff’s office said four men were arrested as a result.

The undercover detectives arranged to meet up with the suspects, who were arrested when they arrived at the location, the sheriff’s office said. Anti-trafficking organization members were also on site to speak with the prostitutes and determine if any were human trafficking victims.

The oldest person authorities said they arrested was 67-year-old Derek Collins. The youngest was a 17-year-old male, who was not identified for being a minor. Both were arrested for soliciting for a prostitute, police said.

The department was assisted by a number of other police departments in the region, as well as members from the Florida Department of Children and Families, and three anti-human trafficking organizations.

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