POLK COUNTY, Fla. – The Polk County Sheriff’s Office in Florida aggressively pursues online sex predators as the agency targets human traffickers. They announced Thursday that a child sex sting operation had resulted in the arrest of 13 men. As usual, a Disney employee was snared, according to authorities.
Sheriff Grady Judd said at a press conference last week for a separate sex sting operation that his detectives “always” arrest Disney employees during these types of investigations, the Daily Wire reported.
“Now, where would we be with an undercover operation and no Disney employees?” he said following “Operation Fall Haul II,” which netted 160 arrests, including two people who work at Disney. “Oh yes, we always have Disney employees.”
The current week-long investigation was called, “Operation Cyber Guardian.” Detectives arrested 13 men during the sting in which they posed as children online “to investigate those who prey upon and travel to meet children for unlawful sexual activity,” according to a statement from the Sheriff’s Office.
The 13 criminal defendants 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,” PCSO said in the 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.”
Sheriff Judd’s statement last week, saying, “We always have Disney employees,” was proven true as one was snared in this operation.
Kevin Sanders, 42, of Winter Garden, was among those arrested. He told law enforcement officials that he was employed by Disney as a roving IT support specialist. Moreover, he told investigators that he had an “addiction” to communicating with underage children online, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Law enforcement officials arrested Sanders at Disney. He is charged with one count of transmitting harmful material to a minor and one count of using a computer to solicit a child for sex, the Daily Wire reported.
The Sheriff’s Office also noted that two of the arrestees told detectives they were married, two brought condoms, and two brought illegal narcotics to be used during their illicit rendezvous.
— Polk County Sheriff 🚔 Grady Judd (@PolkCoSheriff) September 15, 2022
“We will continue to conduct proactive operations like this to search out these evil predators before they get to our children,” Sheriff 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.”