Earlier this month, authorities in the state of Florida planned and executed a sting operation to arrest individuals involved with soliciting sex. This operation carried out by Sheriff’s deputies in both Lake and Polk counties was different in nature from other sting operations; this time, the individuals soliciting sex were soliciting not from prostitutes, but from what they thought were minors, ranging in age from 10 years old to 14 years old.
Operation L&P, as it came to be known, resulted in 22 men being charged criminally as they arrived at a staged home looking for the girls they had been communicating with. The girls, however, were not girls at all. They were deputies posing as young girls, a fact that the 22 men would soon come to find out. What became more shocking than the number of men that were charged during the operation was the nature of work that the men had in common with one another.
Many of the charged men were, until that day, employed by Disney, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios, and as a result of their jobs had been in direct contact with children more frequently than any typical place of employment. One man formerly employed by Disney had arrived to the home seeking sex with a 10-year-old girl after having left work at the Disney park just hours earlier. Some men even arrived with tools for “deviant sex,” including whips and other adult toys.
The operation also targeted standard prostitution as a continuation of the sex sting regarding minors, apprehending 79 individuals that had arrived to engage in acts of prostitution. One man had even hired an Uber driver to drive him over two hours to arrive at the residence where he thought a minor girl was waiting for him.