Police in Florida have arrested a Disney World worker who is among a dozen men accused of soliciting minors for sex, WKMG-TV reports.
On Friday, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office announced that 12 suspects were arrested as part of an undercover sting operation in which police officers posed as teen girls.
The suspects, who range in age from 20 to 67, face a combined 49 felony charges that include traveling to meet a minor for sex, use of a computer to seduce a child, attempted lewd battery, transmission of material harmful to a child and use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony.
Nine of the 12 have no criminal history, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said during a Friday afternoonnews conference.
“What they are doing, these evil people, are lurking online and grooming children online to engage them in sexual conduct,” Judd told reporters, according to video of the news conference.
One of the accused is 30-year-old Zachary Hudson, who worked at Disney World as a bus driver.
Earlier this month, a detective pretending to be a 15-year-old girl messaged with Hudson online. During their conversation, the detective asked Hudson if her age was a problem.
Hudson allegedly replied, as long as “my being older doesn’t bother you” and that her “age is just a number,” according to the sheriff’s office.
In text messages, Hudson is accused of describing sex acts that he wanted to perform on the girl and sent a naked image. He allegedly said that he would be “honored” to take her virginity, the sheriff’s office said.
“He said how he would like to wrap his arms around her and feel her small, tiny body,” Judd said during the press conference.
Hudson allegedly told the undercover officer that their conversation had to be secret and that he feared he could go to jail. He was messaging the undercover officer while on the clock at Disney, Judd told reporters.
Authorities arrested Hudson in Orlando. A mugshot appears to show him wearing a Disney World uniform.
“What would an operation be — either a pornography investigation or predator operation or human trafficking operation — without a Disney employee?” Judd said. “We always have a Disney employee.”
Hudson faces one count of use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony and one count of transmitting material harmful to a minor, the sheriff’s office reports.
Two of the suspects were from out of state – Alabama and Michigan – while the remaining were from around Florida.
Some of the suspects are accused of traveling to have sex with girls they thought were as young as 13 years old, while other suspects are accused of sending sexually explicit material to girls just as young, according to WFLA-TV.
One man, 36-year-old Timothy King, allegedly peddled on a bicycle for miles to have sex with a teen.
“This dude was on a mission,” Judd said during the press conference. “So you might ask the sheriff, ‘Sheriff, how far did he ride a bike to have what he thought was sex with a 15-year-old child?’ 10 miles. Did you hear me? 10 miles.”
Another defendant, 57-year-old Michael Occhino, allegedly said in a conversation that a girl should “walk away without your mom seeing you” so he could meet her.
“Is that scary, or what?” Judd said.
Featured Image: Attached: Zachary Hudson/Polk County Sheriff’s Office