A Florida teacher and Disney employees were among 219 people arrested in a human trafficking sting by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
Out of 119 prostitutes who were arrested during the operation that began last week, Sheriff Grady Judd said 21 were possible victims of human trafficking.
Deputies said Maria Guzman is one of two suspects charged with human trafficking after investigators found she held two women at an Orlando-area motel, selling them out as prostitutes almost daily for months.
“You always think of the guys being human traffickers, but she is the one facing a first-degree felony charge,” Judd said during a news conference. “She’s the one setting the appointments, she’s the one who was prostituting two young ladies. She was taking 60-70%of their money.”
Guzman, along with many of the victims, were in the U.S. illegally, officials said.
The sheriff’s office said three suspects were Disney employees, and another worked at a Disney hotel.
Russell Rogers, an athletic director at Vanguard School and a teacher at REAL Academy High School in Auburndale, was also arrested for allegedly meeting up with women for sex while his wife and children were at home.
“This dude now is coaching in the county jail,” Judd said.
Florida’s high-speed passenger train service has suffered the first fatality on its new extension to Orlando.
Officials say a man was struck in what appears to be a suicide.
A northbound Brightline train headed to Orlando struck the 25-year-old man shortly before 9 a.m. Thursday near the city of Fort Pierce.
Investigators believe the man was homeless and appeared to have intentionally stepped in front of the train.
Overall, it was Brightline’s 99th death since it began operations six years ago.
None of the previous deaths have been found to be Brightline’s fault — most have been suicides, drivers who go around crossing gates or pedestrians running across tracks.
A woman has filed a lawsuit against Walt Disney Parks claiming she suffered serious injuries through a “painful wedgie” at Typhoon Lagoon years ago.
Court records show the woman visited the park in October 2019 for her 30th birthday and decided to ride The Humunga Kowabunga slide.
She claims she got in, crossed her legs, but was “slammed downward against the slide” while riding down.
According to the lawsuit, the impacts of the slide caused her swimsuit to “be painfully forced between her legs,” causing severe internal pain.
She claims the slide led to numerous health problems and is seeking $50,000 in damages.
Random Florida Fact
The largest lobster statue in the world is believed to be in Islamorada, Florida.
Modeled in eerily life-like detail, “Betsy” is a huge spiny lobster that was originally created in the 1980s to celebrate the species, which is native to the Florida Keys.
At about 40 feet long and nearly 30 feet tall, “Betsy” is hailed as the largest lobster despite some vocal opposition from a fiberglass statue in Canada.
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