4 teens, 12 men arrested in child pornography sting, Polk deputies say

Busts were part of Operation Guardians of Innocence VII, records show

Courtesy of Polk County Sheriff's Office (Polk County Sheriff's Office)

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – A sting operation led by Polk County Sheriff’s Office resulted in the arrest of 16 suspects for child pornography charges, including four teens.

The undercover investigation called Operation Guardians of Innocence VII was carried out by the agency’s Computer Crimes Unit and was a month-long sting, according to the sheriff’s office statement.

The oldest man arrested was 68 years old, while the youngest teen is 15, records show. They face a total of 2,777 felony charges, the report said.

“One of the vilest crimes is the sexual abuse of children,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement. “Those arrested in this operation not only create a market for the sexual abuse and rape of babies and children worldwide, every time these images and videos are uploaded and shared, these innocent children are victimized over and over again.”

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Detectives followed up on several tips, leading them to serve 23 search warrants, according to the report. Multiple images and electronic files were seized as evidence, as well as electronic devices which are up for forensic search and could produce additional illicit material, deputies said.

Investigators said the victims found across all 16 suspects’ electronic devices range from 12-year-old children to some as young as infants. Attempts are being made to identify the children depicted in the pictures and videos.

According to a news release, two of the main suspects arrested were Harrison Egbert, 32, and David Lavin Jr., 30, both of Winter Haven. Egbert was found with over 1,000 child pornography files and admitted to sexually abusing three girls, ages 5, 7 and 8. The ex-Marine veteran and clerk at Leadfeather Guns and Ammo in Winter Haven implicated his friend, Lavin, whom he said facilitated one of his victims multiple times and recorded the abuse.

The other 10 adult suspects arrested were David Boyd, 52, from Lakeland; Jonathan Derisse, 20, from Davenport; Jesse Durant, 29, from Davenport; Patrick Johanson, 33, from Winter Haven; Tyerek Lampkin, 22, from Lakeland; Ludjy Masson-Santana, 21, from Kissimmee; Nicholas Nason, 27, from Lakeland; Jonathan Ramos, 31, from Davenport; Kevin Schmidt, 54, from Lakeland; and Richard Sizelove, 68, from Lake Wales, the report said.

According to the report, Derisse said he worked a summer job at Sea World, while Durant is a maintenance supervisor at Hilton Grand Vacations, Johanson is a Department of Corrections correctional officer at Polk Correctional Institute, Masson-Santana is a housekeeping manager at Hilton Orlando in Lake Buena Vista, and Sizelove is a Navy Vietnam veteran.

Two women were arrested for interfering with the investigation, the report said.


About the Author:

Lillian M. Hernández Caraballo joined News 6 in September.