First-grade teacher, Disney workers arrested in child pornography sting

Polk County deputies conduct 'Operation Child Shield 3'

By Daniel Dahm - Digital Manager

LAKELAND, Fla. - A first-grade Poinciana teacher and two Disney World employees were among nine men arrested in a child pornography sting conducted by the Polk County Sheriff's Office, authorities said.

Sheriff's Office computer crimes detectives, along with partners from the Central Florida Internet Crimes Against Children task force, conducted "Operation Child Shield 3" this month, serving search several warrants. 

The operation focused on the promotion, possession and distribution of child pornography, and more arrests are expected, officials said.

Deputies said Juan Berrios, 64, of Kissimmee, a first-grade teacher at Palmetto Elementary School in Poinciana, faces 35 counts of possession of child pornography. 

Berrios was hired in 2007 and also taught school in Massachusetts and Puerto Rico, deputies said.

Detectives received a National Center for Missing and Endangered Children cybertip that Berrios had uploaded child pornography files depicting children between the ages of 3 and 6, officials said. When detectives searched his home, they found files depicting children as young as 6 to 8 months old, deputies said.

"We are taking swift action and cooperating fully with law enforcement in their investigation," said school Superintendent Jacqueline M. Byrd. "The allegations against this employee are disturbing, and such behavior will not be tolerated. This does not represent Polk County Public Schools, its administrators, staff and dedicated teachers. I have reviewed information from the Sheriff’s Office. He is being suspended without pay, and I will recommend that his employment be terminated at the July 26 meeting of the Polk County School Board.”

A Davenport man who works at Disney's BoardWalk was also arrested. Kevin Nazzaro, 52, told detectives that he is a cook at Big River Grille and Brewing Works.

Detectives said Nazarro used a file-sharing program to share videos containing child pornography depicting children between 8 and 11 years old.

Nazarro was taken into custody without incident and charged with two counts of promotion of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

A man who works at Disney's Animal Kingdom was also arrested.  Angel Rivera-Maldonado, 44, of Auburndale, told detectives that he works in housekeeping at the park.

Detectives seized computer equipment from his home and found 60 files depicting child pornography, with the youngest victim believed to be about 1 year old, according to authorities.

Maldonado was taken into custody without incident and charged with 60 counts of possession of child pornography.

According to the Sheriff's Office, others arrested include:

  • Siul Pastor, 31, of Lake Wales, a former Polk County Sheriff's Office Animal Control officer.
  • Robert "Gary" Willis, 70, of Davenport, a retired engineer who worked at Lockheed Martin.
  • Thursk Seepersad, 27, of Lakeland, who was in the Navy.
  • Guillermo "Will" Torres III, 29, of Lakeland, who works for Publix.
  • Terry Drawdy, 46, of Lakeland.
  • James Ballone, 53, of Bartow, who owns J&K Cleaning Service.

 

 

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