POLK COUNTY, Fla. - Nine men were arrested in Polk County on child pornography charges, the sheriff's office said Friday.
Authorities said a 10th man from Missouri was arrested in Kentucky on Polk County kidnapping charges and interference with child custody charges just 11 hours after the sheriff's office was notified of a missing teenaged Florida girl.
John Rush, 44, was sent to a Kentucky jail Friday, accused of abducting the teen after she snuck out of her home. Inside his car was a whip and collar, police said.
A few days ago, Rush had sent the girl an email with a list of rules, saying that she couldn't talk to her family and she had to call him "daddy."
"It's always 'daddy,' never 'sir,'" Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. "This child is being taken into slavery. You're responsible for keeping the house clean, you're responsible for meal planning and food preparation and I'm just skipping through them."
Rush said he had been communicating with the girl for three weeks and was aware she was 16-years-old. He said he was not planning on taking her back home but had planned on letting her parents know she was OK, according to authorities.
Photos: Mug shots of child porn suspects
"John Rush is one very scary example of why we work around the clock to protect the innocent, and why we warn parents of the dangers of the Internet," Judd said. "This man drove all the way from Missouri to take this child, whom he had met and groomed online, and to have sex with her. He told her that May 28 was going to be a special day – well it certainly was a special day for us, because we got to put a child predator behind bars."
The teen’s parents are on their way to Kentucky to be reunited with their daughter, police said.
Rush will be held in McCracken County Jail until he is extradited to Polk County at a later date, according to authorities.
During the month of May, Polk County Sheriff's Computer Crimes detectives said they served search warrants and made nine arrests in the county during an undercover investigation focusing on the promotion, possession, and distribution of child pornography. Eight of the arrests were for possession and distribution of child pornography and one of the arrests was for lewd molestation and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Daniel Dunfee, 21, was arrested at his home on Worchester Court in Lakeland after detectives said they received information that Dunfee solicited two teenaged girls, 14 and 16, who live in Illinois to " trade nude photos and videos" on Kik and Snapchat.
Detectives said that Dunfee portrayed himself as someone who also lives in Illinois. After sending nude photos of himself to the girls and obtaining photos from them, detectives said Denfee then coerced and threatened the victims to send him more photos or he would post the photos they had already sent to him online. The victims blocked Dunfee from their social media accounts. One of the victims' fathers reported the incident to the Elgin (IL) Police Department, who then conducted an investigation and contacted authorities in Florida.
James Crawford, 34, was arrested at his home on Lake Daisy Boulevard in Winter Haven. Detectives said they seized multiple computers belonging to Crawford, where they found at least 120 files depicting juveniles as young as 3 years old, being sexually battered by adults and a thumb drive containing over 65,000 images and videos. Detectives said they also found several firearms in the house, including high-powered rifles, two 9-mm handguns in his car and a large amount of ammunition, marijuana and paraphernalia. Detectives will conduct a thorough forensic analysis of the equipment seized, and additional charges are pending.
Authorities said they arrested Arthur Lee, 55, at his home on Elon Cres in the Carlton Arms apartment complex in Lakeland. Detectives said they seized a desktop computer, a laptop computer, a tablet and an external hard drive, containing at least two video files depicting young girls being sexually battered. Detectives said Lee admitted he downloaded child pornography, depicting children as young as 8 to 10 years old.
Steven Rivera, 26, was arrested at a Redwing Court home in Kissimmee, where detectives seized a laptop computer belonging to Rivera. Detectives said they found two video files depicting 8-to-10-year-old girls being sexually battered by men. Investigators said Rivera told detectives he had been viewing child pornography for years. Additional charges are pending.
Authorities said they found video files of child pornography on Santos Palacios' computer at his home on East Oak Avenue in Haines City. Palacios, 29, shared the videos with others, detectives said. Additional charges are pending.
Eric Reynolds, 32, was arrested at his parent's home on Lake Pansy Drive in Winter Haven. Detectives said they found 25 video files containing child pornography. Reynolds admitted to authorities that he downloaded child pornography, and has been doing so since being released from prison in 2013 for felony battery, detectives said.
Authorities arrested Roger Coulson, 63, at his home that he shares with his wife on Lake Reedy Boulevard in Frostproof. Detectives said they seized a laptop computer belonging to Coulson and found two video files depicting children as young as 4 years old being sexually battered. They also found wiping/erasing software commonly used by suspects in an attempt to delete child pornography, said Coulson. Additional charges are pending. Coulson's wife Barbara was also arrested for possession of marijuana and paraphernalia after detectives said they found marijuana in the home. Detectives said she told them she takes it for medicinal purposes.
Detectives said they arrested William Humphrey, 24, at his home on Lily Court lives. During the search warrant, detectives seized a desktop computer belonging to Humphrey, where they found a video file containing child pornography. Humphrey told detectives he has been viewing child pornography since his preteen years and that he gains sexual gratification from it, said authorities. He told detectives that he views videos depicting children as young as 3 and 4 years old, and that lately he was looking to view even more violent images, investigators said. Additional charges are pending.
Deputies arrested Richard Murray, 22, of Rockridge Road in Lakeland. Detectives said that the morning of his arrest, Murray arranged to pick up a 15-year-old girl from her friend's house in Lakeland and took her to the East Lake Parker Drive area, where they engaged in lewd activity. Murray had been communicating and exchanging sexually explicit images with the victim via email, said detectives. During a search of Murray’s vehicle, detectives said they marijuana and he was additionally charged with one count possession of cannabis. During a forensic analysis of Murray's cellphone, detectives said they found over 100 nude and sexually explicit images, 30 of which depicted children, including the victim.