March 16th, 2022
On Wednesday, the Sheriff of Polk County held a press conference in which he discussed a massive six-day sting operation focused on human trafficking, prostitution, and child predators. The operation resulted in 108 arrests, including four Disney employees.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd reported that this undercover campaign, named “Operation March Sadness 2”, led to the arrest of 108 people, including “a retired judge from Illinois, a few restaurant managers, a man who works at FunSpot, and several who work at Disney.”
One of the individuals arrested was 27-year-old Xavier Jackson who worked at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort as a lifeguard. Jackson, from Kissimmee, Florida, was discovered to have sent sexual images and explicit descriptions of “what he wanted to do” to an undercover detective who was posing as a 14-year-old girl. In Jackson’s communications with the undercover cop, he also bragged about working as a lifeguard at the Disney resort.
Another Disney employee implicated in this bust is a 24-year-old man from Orlando named Wilakson Fidele, who had worked at Disney for four years. He was working at the Cosmic Restaurant at the time of his apprehension.
“This is huge,” Sheriff Judd said about the four apprehended Disney employees. “Four arrests of this magnitude is simply remarkable.”
66-year-old Daniel Peters was also arrested as a result of the operation and charged with soliciting a prostitute. Peters is a retired judge from Cook County, Illinois where he also worked as a special assistant for legal affairs for the sheriff’s office.
The ages of those arrested range from 17 to 67 years old. One apprehended female said she was a human trafficking victim. According to the sheriff’s office, the operation intended to “identify and free any victims who were being forced into prostitution (human trafficking)”.