18 men including a Walt Disney World security guard and janitor at SeaWorld, were arrested in a sex sting dubbed "Operation April's Fools", in which undercover detectives lured suspected child predators to a location using made-up online ads ", Polk County, Florida, Sheriff Grady Judd said Tuesday.
The operation, which involved state and central Florida law enforcement agencies, was carried out from March 29 to April 4 and 18 men, ranging in age from 19 to 60, got arrested for trying to meet a minor for sex.
According to a Polk County Sheriff's news release, the arrests include Jeffrey Erich Binder, 26, of Winter Garden, Florida, who works as a security guard at Walt Disney World and allegedly told a detective posing as a 14-year-old girl that he wanted to do "everything" sexual to her.
According to The Washington Post report, a spokesperson for Disney, which employs 74,000 people, said that Binder "has been placed on unpaid leave pending the outcome of the charges. It is the second year in a row that a man with Disney World ties has been arrested in a sexual predator sting operation.
The men face total of 103 charges, including "attempted lewd battery, use of a computer to seduce a child, transmission of harmful material to a minor, use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony, traveling to meet a minor, possession of a firearm during commission of a felony, drug possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia."
Another arrested was 19-year-old Arthur Joseph Nelson, a janitor at SeaWorld Orlando's Discovery Cove theme park.
The news release said that Nelson showed up at the undercover location to have sex with who he thought was a 14-year-old girl after he sent her pictures of his genitals, and he bought condoms on the way to the undercover location.
Others arrested in the operation include a mechanic, an airline customer service manager, a hospital technician, a former firefighter, a football coach at a Christian academy and computer program director.
Authorities said that some men offered to pick the children up, and others asked to meet in public while some of the suspects even went on driving to a home to have sex with children, bringing candy, condoms and drugs with them.
"These guys aren't just talking nasty on their computer for sexual gratification. They actually travel and come to a location expecting to be successful in taking advantage of children." Sheriff Grady Judd said.
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