SIXTEEN people have been arrested in an online child abuse sting which saw a nurse and two Disney employees taken into custody by Florida detectives.
The “Operation Guardians of Innocence V” tracked the group, who had been distributing child sex abuse involving infants as young as six months.
One man arrested was 32-year-old Justin Hazan, who works as a ride operator on Walt Disney World’s Millennium Falcon attraction and admitted downloading and possessing child pornography involving four and five-year-old victims.
Arlandres Sims, who lives with Hazan and also works at Disney World, but as a food runner at the Animal Kingdom Resort, admitted to the same crime and was charged with 25 counts possession of child pornography.
Police also arrested Edgardo Acevedo Cancela, a registered nurse and married father of two, who denied downloading and viewing child pornography but was charged with five counts of possessing child pornography and five counts of promoting the material.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said 1,409 felonies were filed against the suspects, who ranged from 18 to 64 in age, with more charges pending.
“These images are not just pictures of children without clothes,” said Sheriff Grady Judd in a statement. “These videos and photographs are horrific images of children being forced to expose their genitalia and forced to perform sex acts – images of children being raped.
“Those who upload and share child pornography are victimizing children over and over again,” he continued.
“Those arrested in this operation create the demand that sustains a child pornographic exploitation distribution pipeline that traumatizes children across the world. Their behavior is disgusting.”
Stephen Lilly, a 61-year-old who lives in Lakeland, was apprehended by detectives and initially said his internet and accounts had been “hacked”.
However he later admitted he had been downloading and viewing child pornography for the past two years.
Police located files on his computer depicting children who were just 12 months old being abused.
Another suspect, Monty Cottengain, admitted trading images via Facebook messenger, while 18-year-old Landen Ulrich, who lives with his parents and younger siblings in Lakeland, was charged with 200 counts of possession of child pornography.
John Aziz, a pharmacist at the Heart of Florida Medical Center, was also charged with 72 counts possession of child pornography, alongside possession of prescription drugs without a prescription.
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Detectives found “hundreds of files depicting child pornography with victims as young as six months old”.
“We need to know where these babies are so we can rescue them,” Judd told CrimeOnline.
“People who look at and lust after child pornography are dangerous people and they may be living next door to you.’
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