POLK COUNTY, FL – A weeklong human trafficking operation in Florida has resulted in the arrest of over 200 individuals, including a teacher and three Disney employees. The operation, dubbed ‘Traffic Stop 2’, was carried out by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Grady Judd revealed the results of the operation at a press conference, stating that 83 of the arrested individuals were apprehended for soliciting a prostitute. The operation also led to the identification of 21 potential human trafficking victims among the 119 prostitutes arrested.
Maria Guzman, 36, and Freddy Escalona, 30, were among those arrested on charges of human trafficking and deriving proceeds from prostitution. Escalona allegedly forced a woman into prostitution after she was unable to repay a $2,200 loan for vehicle repairs. Guzman is accused of arranging appointments for two young women she was prostituting, taking a significant portion of their earnings.
Sheriff Judd also highlighted the arrest of Russell Rogers, a married father of three and athletic director at Vanguard School. Rogers was accused of negotiating to have sex with a prostitute. Despite the charges not involving students, Polk County Schools expressed disappointment in Rogers’ behavior, stating that such conduct has no place in their school system.
Three Disney employees, Kenneth Green, Marquis Nixon, and Carlos Ro, were also among those arrested for soliciting prostitutes. Green is a training coordinator, Nixon works in security, and Ro is a custodian.
The operation also led to the arrest of 35 individuals suspected of being in the country illegally, originating from countries such as Cuba, Chile, Venezuela, Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, and the Bahamas. Additionally, 41 of the arrested individuals were married, 13 were receiving government assistance, and 42 had brought illegal drugs to the location.
Sheriff Judd emphasized the success of the operation, stating that it led to the identification of 21 human trafficking victims, adding to the 24 victims identified in a similar operation earlier this year.