child porn arrests

BARTOW — An undercover investigation by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office has led to 16 people getting arrested for possession of child pornography, and Sheriff Grady Judd is urging law enforcement agencies across the state to take a similarly aggressively move in combating online exploitation of minors.

Noting that the widespread use of smartphones has made the dissemination of child porn easier than ever, Judd, speaking at a press conference today, said it was time to target and arrest “deviants” who seek out or possess these materials.

“Child porn can now be made very easily, it can be distributed very easily,” the sheriff said, adding that he was now calling out law enforcement agencies to increase the fight.

“If you’re not seeking these people out and actively arresting them, what’s wrong with you,” he said. “Go after them with a vengeance and lock them up.”

What Led to These 16 Arrests?

.The sheriff’s office called this Operation Guardians of Innocence V, and it was launched at the beginning of the year. Their Computer Crimes detectives focused on identifying and arresting anyone involved in the possession, promotion, and distribution of child pornography, while benefitting from tips provided by the National Center for Missing and Endangered Inc. The undercover operation led to 1,409 felony charges being filed against 16 individuals, including one illegal immigrant, two men who work at Walt Disney World, and a pharmacist at a local hospital.

“These images are not just pictures of children without clothes,” Judd said. “These videos and photographs are horrific images of children being forced to expose their genitalia and forced to perform sex acts – images of children being raped. Those who upload and share child pornography are victimizing children over and over again.”

Operation Guardians of Innocence is designed to stop this behavior, the sheriff said, adding, “Those arrested in this operation create the demand that sustains a child pornographic exploitation distribution pipeline that traumatizes children across the world. Their behavior is disgusting.”

Among those who got arrested:

  • * Nabor Molina, 45, of Lakeland. Detectives had gotten a tip from the National Center for Missing and Endangered that child pornography files were being saved to a Google account at Molina’s address, and detectives found files depicting child pornography with victims as young as 18-36 months old. The sheriff’s office noted that Molina is in the country illegally, and an ICE hold has been put on him in the jail. He was charged with 125 counts of possession of child pornography.
  • * Joshua Charles Johnson, 27, of Davenport. A tip from NCMEC led detectives led detectives to his home, where they located files with victims as young as two years old. Detectives report that Johnson was recently released from state prison for robbery, and he’s been charged with 200 counts of possession of child pornography.
  • * Justin Hazan, 32, and Arlandres Sims, 36, who live together in Davenport as roommates. Detectives had determined that a computer at that address was advertising videos containing child pornography. Detectives reported that Hazan told detectives he works at Walt Disney World as an operator on the Millennium Falcon ride and admitted to downloading and possessing child pornography, with victims as young as 4-5 years old. He was charged with 15 counts of possession of child pornography. Sims told detectives he also works at Walt Disney World as a food runner at the Animal Kingdom Resort, and he admitted to downloading and possessing child pornography, detectives noted. He was charged with 25 counts of possession of child pornography.
  • * John Aziz, 35, of Southern Dunes in Haines City. Detectives located more than 70 files depicting child pornography with victims as young as 18 months old on his computers. Aziz told detectives he’s a pharmacist at the Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center, and during the search of his home, detectives found numerous prescription drugs without prescriptions. He was charged with:
    · 72 counts of possession of child pornography
    · 13 counts of possession of prescription drugs without a prescription
    · 1 count of keeping a residence for drug use
    · 1 count of possession of codeine
    · 1 count of possession of oxycodone
    · 1 count of possession of Alprazolam

For a full list of the suspects who got arrested, visit the Polk County Sheriff’s Office website.

Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright, and author of the book When I Woke Up, You Were All Dead. Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com.

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