POLK COUNTY, Fla. – Two Walt Disney World employees and a University of Central Florida student were among those arrested Thursday during a child porn bust, officials said.
Polk County deputies said former Disney manager Brett Kinney was among those arrested and bonded out of jail overnight. Records show Kinney admitted to being addicted to child pornography and said he looked at images of the boy to "live vicariously."
A Disney representative said Kinney no longer works for the company and another employee, Donald Durr, is on unpaid leave.
Deputies said Durr had seven images of child pornography that he said he came across and saved while looking for nudist photos online. He told investigators that he was "a pervert, but not a monster," according to the arrest report.
Dominic Bernardi, a 19-year-old UCF student, was also arrested after a girl said Bernardi sent her multiple inappropriate pictures of himself when she was 13 years old and he pressured her to send him nude pictures of herself through Snapchat, according to an arrest affidavit.
Deputies said Operation Guardians of Innocence IV: Fall Haul was a month-long special investigation by the Polk County Sheriff's Office Computer Crimes Unit.
The investigators said they focused on identifying members of the community who possessed and shared child pornography
Officials said 17 people were arresting during the investigation.
Some men arrested had contacted children or were soliciting sexually explicit photos of children, according to authorities.
"The people arrested during this operation prey on the most innocent and vulnerable among us: our children. The undercover detectives who investigate these crimes have to see things that nobody should have to see, and no child should have to experience. Each one of these arrests has removed a predator from our streets, and the internet," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.
The suspects include husbands, fathers, a former middle school assistant principal, two theme park employees, a mechanical engineer, a landscaper, laborers, a truck driver, a registered nurse, and several who were unemployed were among those arrested, records show.
"Our detectives work hard year-round to keep track of convicted sexual offenders and predators who reside here. We also monitor whether or not they remain compliant with the law. We know our citizens are concerned about predators and offenders being around children during events such as Halloween, so every year we conduct initiatives like this one. These suspects learned the hard way that we take every one of the requirements seriously, and failure to comply will result in an arrest," Judd said.
Stay with News 6 as we update this developing story.