Employees of Walt Disney World in Florida were among those arrested in a weeklong undercover child sex abuse sting operation by the Polk County Sheriff’s Department last week.
The 13 male suspects were arrested after they allegedly agreed to meet with individuals they believed to be underage teenagers.
Detectives had posed as minors on social media and other web-based platforms as part of “Operation Cyber Guardian II.”
Polk County’s child sex stings have become well-known due to the frequency with which they turn up Disney employees among those arrested for allegedly enticing minors online, as we’ve often covered.
The 13 suspects have racked up between them a total 41 felony and three misdemeanor charges, CBS News. These charges include traveling to meet a minor for sex, use of a computer to entice a child, unlawful use of a communication device, and transmission of harmful material to a child.
The sheriff’s department says that eight of the charged men are accused of arranging to meet an individual they believed to be a minor at a location in Polk County, while three believed they were communicating with parents who wanted their children to learn about sex through an encounter with the suspect.
Two of the suspects told detectives posing as children that they were married, two bought condoms, and two bought illegal drugs, according to the outlet.
Some reportedly sent sexually explicit media to persons they believed to be minors.
One of the suspects is 42-year-old Kevin Sanders of Winter Gardens, who is married with children. He told detectives that he was employed by Disney as an IT support specialist. The Post notes that he also belonged to Disney’s YES Program (Youth Education Series), which has since been renamed the Disney Imagination Campus and offers accredited educational programs to children 5 to 18.
Sanders had reportedly been communicating with detectives posing as minors online for years but authorities only obtained a search warrant in September.
Joshua Cummings, 28, was employed as a construction subcontractor working on a new roller coaster at the sprawling Disney theme park complex.
He began communicating with a person he believed to be an underage girl in early September. The “girl” was an undercover detective, who Cummings told he wanted to play a game in which the winner would have a sex act performed on them.
“What does evil people really look like? What does a pedophile really look like? What does a child sex predator really look like? What does some of the most despicable people in the entire world really look like?” Sheriff Judd told reporters during a press conference, where he had the suspect’s mugshots on display. “Here’s your photos. This is them.”
“They’re not the kind of guy that robs. steals and burgles. They’re the kind of criminal that attacks your children,” he also said.
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