Retired Cook County judge among over 100 arrested in Florida human trafficking sting

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Thursday, March 17, 2022

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WLS) -- A retired Cook County judge was among over 100 people arrested in a human trafficking investigation in Florida.

Daniel Peters, 66, of Palos Hills, is charged with soliciting a prostitute.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Peters told authorities he was a retired judge in the Cook County 4th Sub Circuit and a special assistant for legal affairs at the Cook County Sheriff's Office in Illinois.

Peters was arrested during a six-day undercover human trafficking operation conducted by the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

The Cook County Sheriff's Office said Peters is no longer on the bench or in county government.

According to the Polk County officials, detectives identified prostitutes who posted online advertisements, as well as the "johns" communicating with them online, with "the intent to identify and free any victims who were being forced into prostitution, or anyone participating in the trafficking of victims.

Investigators said they also identified and investigated adults who engaged in online sexually charged conversations with those they believed to be children, netting four arrests.

Undercover detectives communicated online with the suspects and arranged for a meetup at a location where they were arrested after their arrival.

Sheriff Judd said the oldest person arrested was 67-year old Derek Collins, who showed up to the residence drinking Ensure, the youngest was a 17-year old male. Both were arrested for soliciting for a prostitute.