POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A former Cook County judge was arrested in a large human trafficking investigation involving over 100 people in Florida.
Daniel Peters, 66, of Illinois, was charged with soliciting a prostitute.
According to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, Peters served as a judge in Cook County (4th Sub Circuit) from 2011-2012 and as a special assistant for legal affairs at the Cook County Sheriff’s Office in Illinois.
His arrest was one of over 100 people taken into custody by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office during “Operation March Sadness 2,” a six-day undercover investigation that focused on human trafficking, prostitution and child predators.
Deputies said Peters requested an attorney, to which Sheriff Judd replied, “Well judge, you need an attorney. You got problems.”
Peters was booked into jail on Friday and released on Saturday, according to jail records.
Additionally, four Disney employees were also arrested during the investigation, including a Kissimmee man who worked as a lifeguard at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.
Deputies said Xavier Jackson, 27, who worked as a lifeguard at the resort, sent sexual images and graphic descriptions of “what he wanted to do” to an undercover detective posing as a 14-year-old girl. Deputies said Jackson also bragged about working as a lifeguard at the resort.
Three other Disney employees were arrested during the operation, including a 24-year-old Orlando man who worked at the Cosmic Restaurant. Deputies said the man worked at Disney for four years.
Polk County detectives said they identified prostitutes who posted online advertisements as well as “johns” who sought the prostitutes online. The sheriff’s office said the operation “had the intent to identify and free any victims who were being forced into prostitution (human trafficking), or anyone participating in the trafficking of victims.”