Florida’s Polk County Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday that a child sex sting operation had resulted in the arrest of 13 men, including one Disney employee.
Detectives arrested the 13 men during a week-long undercover operation dubbed “Operation Cyber Guardian II” in which they posed as children online “to investigate those who prey upon and travel to meet children for unlawful sexual activity,” a statement from the sheriff’s office said.
In total, the 13 suspects face a total of 41 felony and 3 misdemeanor charges related to their alleged attempts to engage in sexual activity with children.
“The suspects communicated with and solicited who they thought were children online,” officials said in a statement. “Eight suspects showed up at an undercover location in Polk County at separate times to meet who they thought were children, to sexually batter them. Detectives obtained warrants for five other suspects who were arrested and booked into jails in their respective counties. Three of the suspects believed they were speaking with a parent or guardian of a child who wanted to teach their ‘child’ to have sex or arranging for the minor to have sex with the suspect.”
One of the men who was arrested, 42-year-old Kevin Sanders of Winter Garden, told law enforcement officials that he was employed by Disney as a roving IT support specialist. According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Sanders told law enforcement that he had an “addiction” to communicating with underage children online.
Law enforcement officials arrested Sanders at Disney and charged him with one count transmitting harmful material to a minor (F3) and one count using computer to solicit a child for sex.
“We will continue to conduct proactive operations like this to search out these evil predators before they get to our children,” Sheriff Grady Judd said. “Thanks to the hard work of our detectives and the detectives in our partnering agencies, these 13 predators have been arrested. We are going hold them criminally accountable for their attempts to sexually abuse, groom, and corrupt our children. Parents please get all in your child’s business when it comes to their use of electronic devices that gives them access to online gaming, mobile applications, texting, or the internet. Check their devices regularly, and ensure parental controls are enabled to keep men like these away from your kids.”
— Polk County Sheriff 🚔 Grady Judd (@PolkCoSheriff) September 15, 2022
Grady said at a press conference last week for a separate sex sting operation that his detectives “always” arrest Disney employees during these types of operations.
“Now, where would we be with an undercover operation and no Disney employees?” he said. “Oh yes, we always have Disney employees.”
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