A protracted-time Disney World worker and a Publix bagger had been among the many 13 sexual predators nabbed in an undercover sting operation in Florida, police mentioned.
Working collectively with Chris Hansen of “To Catch a Predator,” the Polk County Sheriff’s Workplace focused suspects accused of making an attempt to “sexually abuse, groom, and corrupt” youngsters, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd mentioned at a press convention Thursday.
In the course of the week-long operation, dubbed “Operation Cyber Guardian II,” officers posed as juvenile girls and boys — some as younger as 13, Fox 13 reported.
Eight suspects confirmed up at an undercover location in Polk County believing they had been assembly with a minor for intercourse, the sheriff’s workplace mentioned in a press release. Police obtained warrants for the arrest of 5 others in numerous counties.
Three of the suspects believed they had been talking with a father or mother or guardian of a kid who wished to show their baby to have intercourse or organized for the minor to have intercourse with the suspect.
The 13 males are collectively going through 41 felony and three misdemeanor prices together with touring to satisfy a minor for intercourse, tried lewd battery, use of a pc to seduce a baby, illegal use of a two-way communication machine, and transmission of fabric dangerous to a baby.
In keeping with the sheriff’s workplace, two of the suspects advised detectives they had been married, two introduced condoms to the undercover location and two introduced unlawful medication.
Amongst these arrested had been 42-year-old Kevin Sanders of Winter Backyard, who was taken into custody at Disney World, the place he has labored for 16 years, Judd mentioned.
Sanders labored on the park as a roving IT help specialist, however had beforehand labored as a member of Disney’s Youth Training Collection Program, which gives accredited instructional packages to college students ages 5 to 18, officers mentioned.
Sanders, a married father of two younger youngsters, allegedly started exchanging messages with an undercover cop whom he believed to be a 13-year-old woman on Aug. 29. He allegedly advised her the sexual acts he wished to carry out on the kid and advised her that they might “should watch out” as a result of her age, the sheriff’s division mentioned.
Police allege Sanders has beforehand engaged with undercover officers he believed to be younger women however at all times reduce off communication earlier than really touring to satisfy with the minor.
He was booked in Orange County Jail and charged with transmitting dangerous materials to a minor and utilizing a pc to solicit a baby for intercourse.
Joshua Cummins, 28, was additionally arrested within the operation after allegedly touring to the undercover location pondering he can be assembly a 14-year-old woman for intercourse, officers mentioned. He advised cops he was employed as a building subcontractor and was presently constructing a brand new curler coaster at Disney.
He was charged with touring to satisfy a minor for intercourse, use of a two-way communication machine to commit a felony and tried lewd battery. He was launched on an $18,000 bond.
A Publix grocery retailer bagger, 33-year-old Matthew Silva, was arrested after he allegedly despatched sexually express messages and nude pictures of himself to an undercover officer he believed to be a 14-year-old woman.
Silva was charged with transmitting dangerous materials to a minor and utilizing a pc to solicit a baby for intercourse.
“Mother and father, please get all in your baby’s enterprise relating to their use of digital units that offers them entry to on-line gaming, cellular functions, texting, or the web,” Judd mentioned. “Verify their units recurrently, and guarantee parental controls are enabled to maintain males like these away out of your children.”