America’s favorite sheriff is back in the news for taking more sickos off of the streets. That sheriff is the incredible Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, known for his awesome press conferences and better results. His department just wrapped up a massive sting operation that targeted human traffickers and their customers in Polk County.
Announcing the successful conclusion of the operation in a press release and a post about it on Facebook, Sheriff Judd and his office noted that 219 sicko suspects were swept up by his deputies and officers from other agencies, including a teacher and Disney employees.
The post said, “During a seven-day undercover human trafficking operation, which began on Tuesday, September 19, 2023, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Vice Unit and partnering agencies arrested 219 suspects. During this investigation, 21 possible human trafficking victims were identified of the 119 prostitutes who were arrested. Two suspects were charged with human trafficking, a life felony.”
It added, “There were 83 suspects arrested for soliciting a prostitute and traveling to the undercover location to negotiate having sex in exchange for money; 17 other suspects were arrested, and of those, 5 were either deriving proceeds from prostitution or aiding and abetting prostitutes, and 8 drove the prostitutes to the undercover location.”
Sheriff Judd, commenting on the success of the operation, said, “Not only did we arrest more suspects during this single operation than we have ever arrested before, we identified 21 human trafficking victims; during a similar operation in February, we identified 24 victims. That’s 45 victims we were able to identify this year. The valuable relationships that we have with the social services organizations who join us in these operations make it possible for these women to get help and be emancipated from this way of life.”
The press release also noted that some suspected victims of human trafficking were rescued during the operation, saying, “Those who travelled to provide prostitution services were screened by detectives and the social services organizations to determine if they were being trafficked or exploited by others, and were offered services by the social services organizations at the operation. During this investigation, 21 possible human trafficking victims were identified of the 119 prostitutes who were arrested. Two suspects were charged with human trafficking, a life felony.”
Among those arrested was Russell Rogers, athletic director at Vanguard School, a teacher at Auburndale High School REAL Academy, and married father of three. District officials, commenting on his arrest, said, “Part of being an educator is understanding that you are held to a higher standard for your actions in the classroom, as well as the community. These charges don’t involve students, and Rogers was not on duty as a teacher, but this kind of conduct still has no place in our school system.”
The sheriff’s office also announced that three of those arrested were Disney employees, with one more working at a Disney hotel. While a minor percentage of those arrested, many are upset when Disney employees are involved in such scandals because of the proximity to children involved in their work.
Featured image credit: screengrab from the embedded video
"*" indicates required fields