UPDATED 9:14 AM PT – Wednesday, August 4, 2021
There have been a total of 17 people arrested as part of a Florida undercover child predator sting operation. Following a six-day undercover operation, authorities in Florida arrested over a dozen suspects who allegedly were trying to coerce minors into engaging in unlawful sexual activity.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd explained the joint investigation dubbed “Operation Child Protector.” From July 27 to Aug. 1, detectives went undercover as minors across different social media platforms and mobile apps in hopes of apprehending individuals who prey on children online.
According to Judd, the suspects showed up at an undisclosed location in Polk County at separate times to meet who they thought were children. In total, authorities arrested the 17 suspects ranging in age from 26 to 47. Upon further investigation, police said three of the suspects revealed they were Walt Disney employees.
Sheriff Judd is briefing the media about Operation Child Protector, a 6 day long investigation focusing on those who prey upon children online with @Auburndalegov Chief Andy Ray & @WHPoliceDept Dir Charlie Bird. Read https://t.co/rLSq65y6DQ & watch on https://t.co/rKNE28jFQl pic.twitter.com/zketpzki7b
— Polk County Sheriff 🚔 (@PolkCoSheriff) August 3, 2021
Kenneth Javier Aquino, 26, worked as a lifeguard at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge hotel in Orlando. Judd then identified the two other individuals as 34-year-old Jonathan McGrew and his girlfriend Savannah Lawrence, 29, who were custodians at Walt Disney World Hollywood Studios.
He noted none of the suspects engaged in any illegal activity while on park property. Judd went on to express his disgust over the content obtained throughout the sting from the suspects. He then commended the detectives who worked diligently to capture the predators.
Meanwhile, all of the suspects face a total of 49 felony charges and two misdemeanor charges.