March 17, 2022
POLK COUNTY, Fla. — More than 100 people, including four Disney employees, were arrested in Florida during a six-day undercover human trafficking investigation called “Operation March Sadness 2.”
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office Vice Unit led the investigation, in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies and anti-human trafficking agencies in the area.
Four people who were preying on children online were identified and arrested as part of the operation. One of the child predators arrested was a lifeguard at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, WFLA reported.
Undercover detectives used online advertisements to identify potential suspects. Officers made contact online with the suspects and arranged for an in-person meetup. The suspects were arrested after their arrival at the chosen location, according to a news release from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
The oldest person arrested was 67-year old Derek Collins, who showed up at the residence drinking an Ensure nutrition beverage, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. The youngest person arrested was a 17-year old male. Both were arrested for soliciting for a prostitute, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Another notable arrest involved James Compton, 42, of Kissimmee. The man told detectives that he’s married with eight children, and had left one of his children at a soccer game taking place nearby in order to meet with a prostitute. He was arrested and charged with soliciting a prostitute.
Anti-trafficking organizations were available to help determine those who were human trafficking victims and offer services and counseling, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office news release includes a graphic with images of all of the suspects and more information about the arrests made during the ‘Operation March Sadness 2′ investigation.