A weeklong operation to bust online predators looking to have sex with children in Florida culminated in the arrests of 22 people, including three Disney World employees, authorities announced Wednesday.
Undercover deputies from the Lake County cyber crimes unit in central Florida led the investigation, called “Be Mine,” and baited suspects by posing as children in online chat forums, according to a police press release. After making a connection with the suspects, the undercover agents arranged to meet the men at a vacant house, under the premise of engaging in sexual acts with a minor. Once the men arrived at the meet-up point, they were immediately taken into custody.
Some of the apprehended included a miniature golf course worker, a paramedic and a member of the National Guard, Orlando outlet News 13 reports.
Disney spokeswoman Marilyn Waters told CNN the three Disney employees arrested during the sting have been placed on unpaid leave, pending the investigation’s outcome.
One of the arrested Disney employees, Patrick Holgerson, 32, also faces several charges including failing to disclose HIV status to a sexual partner. Another of the Disney three, Tyler Edge, brought a knife and condoms, Orlando news outlet WESH reports.
According to News 13, one of the suspects arrested, Alexander Vorobets, brought a Happy Meal and condoms with him to the arranged meeting place.
Each of the 22 suspects faces five years in prison if convicted.