A child pornography sting operation in Central Florida has led to the arrest of 17 people, including two Disney employees.
One man was caught as he was attempting to meet a child for sexual favors, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement Friday. Two other men were in the middle of trying to get nude pictures from two different teenage girls using Snapchat and Facebook. Another man said that if he didn’t look at child pornography, he would sexually batter children.
Those arrested as part of the monthlong police operation range in age from 19 to 77 and face a total of 626 charges, all of them felonies except two misdemeanors, the sheriff's statement said.
“The people arrested during this operation prey on the most innocent and vulnerable among us — our children," the sheriff said in the statement. "Each one of these arrests has removed a predator from our streets, and the internet."
Among the group are Brett Kinney, 40, of Lake Alfred, Florida, who told police he worked as a guest experience manager at Disney World, and Donald Durr, Jr., 52, of Davenport, who was a custodial worker for Walt Disney World Resorts, the sheriff's office said.
Kinney was arrested in mid-October on suspicion of possessing child pornography and told authorities he had been viewing child pornography for 22 years and knew it was wrong, illegal and immoral, but couldn’t stop himself and needed help, NBC afiliate WESH reported.
Police said Durr described himself as “a pervert, but not a monster.” He had an electronic tablet that contained three images of child pornography, the sheriff's statement said.
Disney told NBC News in an email that Kinney no longer works for the company and Durr is on unpaid leave.
Also among those arrested was William Hage, 76, of Lakeland, who prior to his retirement was a middle school assistant principal.