Former Disney, SeaWorld Workers Arrested in Child Sex Sting
The undercover operation led to 101 arrests in two Florida counties.
Florida police arrested 101 people as part of an undercover child pornography and prostitution investigation, and some of the suspects used to work at the Magic Kingdom, SeaWorld and Universal Studios.
The Lake and Polk County Sheriff's Offices worked with Mount Dora and Clermont police in a two-part sting operation beginning on May 18 and ending on May 28. Officials said detectives posed as underage girls or their parents in online chat rooms. They instructed the suspects to meet them at a specific location, where the suspects were arrested upon arrival.
Jeff Conrad worked at Magic Kingdom, although Disney told Florida's News13 that Conrad had left Disney before the arrest.
“He traveled to have sex with a 14-year-old child,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told local media at a news conference. “He had access to kids because, as he said, he was a Disney employee working at Magic Kingdom.”
Ryan Mayer and Tomas Adams worked at SeaWorld and Universal Studios, although the theme parks told local news stations the men were no longer employed at the parks.
"We were recently informed that an employee who had worked for us for less than two weeks is included among those listed by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, but do not release personal information about our employees," a SeaWorld representative tells The Hollywood Reporter. "The safety of our guests and team members and the well-being of our animals are our highest priority. We have numerous measures in place to create a safe environment in our parks."
"These are dangerous folks," Judd said. "Why do they work in these places? Because that's where the children are. They like to be around children."
Twenty-two people were arrested during the initial phase and 79 were arrested during the second.
“Their communications and desires were outrageous and deviant,” Judd said. “All 22 traveled to have sex and brought outrageous tools for deviant sex.”
He added, “If you’re going to prey on children, the Florida sheriffs are going to come after you with a vengeance."
Reps for Universal Studios and Disney did not immediately respond to The Hollywood Reporter's request for comment.