POLK COUNTY, Fla. - An undercover child pornography sting in Polk County nabbed nine individuals, including a first grade teacher who had been working for Polk County Schools for nine years, investigators said.
Juan Berrios, 64, was arrested after members of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Computer Crimes Unit served a search warrant at his Kissimmee home.
Investigators got a tip that Berrios, who had also been a teacher in Massachusetts and Puerto Rico, had uploaded pornographic images of children ranging from 3 to 6 years old, investigators said.
When his home was searched, deputies say they found pornographic images on his computer showing children as young as 8 months old.
He was charged with 35 enhanced counts of possession of child pornography.
Barrios, who had been employed at Palmetto Elementary School since 2009, was immediately suspended without pay, Polk County Schools said.
Polk County Schools superintendent Jacqueline M. Byrd said she will recommend he be fired during the July 26 school board meeting.
He was a first-grade teacher at Lake Marion Creek Elementary from 2007 until 2009, the district said.
“We are taking swift action and cooperating fully with law enforcement in their investigation,” Byrd said in a statement Thursday. “The allegations against this employee are disturbing, and such behavior will not be tolerated.
His most recent salary was $63,251, the district said.
Berrios was one of 12 men who have been arrested in the sting.
Angel Rivera-Maldonado, an employee at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, was also arrested in the sting. He’s been put on unpaid leave pending the outcome of the charges, according to Disney.
Others arrested during the sting:
Siul Pastor, 31, of Lake Wales, is a former Polk County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Officer. He was charged with three counts of possession of child pornography after video files depicting children were found on his computer, investigators said. He resigned from the Sheriff’s Office following his arrest. Additional charges are pending, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Robert “Garry” Willis, 70, of Davenport, is a married retired electrical engineer who used to work for Lockheed Martin. Detectives say they received information that Willis was using a file-sharing program to disseminate child pornography depicting children between 7 and 10 years old. He was arrested and charged with 36 counts of promotion of child pornography and two counts of possession of child pornography.
Kevin Nazzaro, 52, of Davenport, is a cook at Big River Grille and Brewing Works at Disney’s Boardwalk, the Sheriff’s Office said. He is accused of using a file sharing program to upload pornography involving children between 8 and 11 years old, investigators said. He was arrested and charged with two counts of promoting child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.
Thursk Seepersad, 27, of Lakeland, is a Navy veteran who served from 2006 to 2011, detectives said. He is currently unemployed. He was charged with four counts of possession of child pornography after a search of his home computer.
Guillermo “Will” Torres III, 29, of Lakeland, works in the bakery warehouse at a Publix. Detectives received information that he had been allegedly downloading child pornography involving children from 5 to 12 years old. When investigators searched his home computer, they reported finding 100 files containing child pornography, with at least one depicting a child as young as 18 months old. He was arrested and charged with 100 enhanced counts of possession of child pornography.
Angel Rivera-Maldonado, 44, of Auburndale, works in housekeeping at Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge. He is accused of sharing files containing pornography involving children between 5 and 12 years old. He was charged with 60 counts of enhanced possession of child pornography when detectives say they found numerous files on his home computer. One of the computer files involved a child believed to be 1 year old, investigators said.
(No photo available) Terry Drawdy, 46, of Lakeland, was accused of having sexual conversations with a 15-year-old Ohio girl on Facebook. At his direction, the girl sent nude images of herself to him using the social networking service, investigators said. Drawdy told detectives that he’d been chatting with the girl online for about two months and that they, “talk about sex almost every day.” He was arrested and charged with using a computer to seduce a child and use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony. The 15-year-old girl was identified by investigators, who contacted law enforcement in Ohio.
James Ballone, 53, of Bartow, is the owner of J&K Cleaning Service, detectives said. When investigators searched his home computer, they reported finding numerous files containing child pornography. Ballone was arrested and charged with 65 enhanced counts of possession of child pornography.
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