Man accused of child sex charges in Polk County sting never went to prison

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POLK COUNTY, Fla. - Polk County sheriff's deputies announced 41 arrests in a historic child sex crimes sweep Monday, but Channel 9 learned Tuesday one of the suspects in the sting, Eraldo Zunun, was a known threat by police.

But despite an Orange County arrest on sex charges, Zununnever spent a day in prison.

Polk County sheriff's detectives took down Zunun, a suspected child predator, and one of 41 accused of using the Internet to meet children for sex.

"We saw the most deviant people this past week," said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

Nine years ago, Zunun was at the Orange County jail facing felony charges of armed sexual battery.

The 2004 case file shows a plea of not guilty, and Zunun's release on bond. Despite sex crimes and child abuse investigators working the case, it went nowhere. Prosecutors declined to go forward, and Zunun was deported.

"Well, let me tell Orange County something. He's back and he's trying to attack children," Judd said.

The office of State Attorney Jeff Ashton was reviewing the case, but couldn't say why charges went nowhere. Federal officials are looking into how Zunun got back into the country.

"And what happened, why didn't he go to prison the first time?" Judd said.

Zunun's again in custody at the Polk County jail Tuesday. In addition to the charges he's facing, federal immigration officers have put a hold on him as well. For now, he's not going anywhere.