4 Disney employees among more than 100 people arrested in human trafficking bust, reports say

The arrests were part of a six-day, multi-agency undercover investigation

Over 100 arrested in undercover human trafficking investigation in Polk County

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – A massive human trafficking bust in Florida led to the arrests of more than 100 people, including four Disney employees, according to reports.

“Operation March Sadness 2″ was a six-day, multi-agency undercover investigation that targeted child predators, prostitution and human trafficking offenders, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

On Wednesday, the agency announced that as a result of the operation, 108 people total were arrested.

Detectives said through the course of the investigation, they were able to find prostitutes and “johns” who were seeking prostitutes online, arrest child predators and free any victims.

The “grand slam” arrests in the investigation were four men accused of preying on children online, according to authorities.

One of the four Disney employees listed among those arrested was Xavier Jackson, 27, who worked as a lifeguard at the park’s Polynesian Resort, according to KSAT’s sister station, WKMG.

Authorities said he sent graphic images and messages to an undercover detective posing as a 14-year-old girl online.

Jackson was arrested and is facing several charges, including three counts of transmission of material harmful to a minor and unlawful use of two-way communication device, according to a release. WKMG reached out to Disney, who confirmed Jackson is on unpaid leave.

The other three Disney employee arrests include a 24-year-old man who worked at the Cosmic Restaurant, a 27-year-old software developer and a 45-year-old IT worker, NBC 6 reports.

Operation March Sadness (Polk County Sheriff's Office)

The oldest arrest made in the operation was a 67-year-old man and the youngest was a 17-year-old man, according to Polk County deputies. Both were arrested for soliciting for a prostitute.

Following the arrests, deputies said members of the anti-trafficking organizations aided some of the victims on-site and offered them services and counseling.

For more details on the arrests made in the operation, click here.


About the Author:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.