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Disney, Legoland employees arrested in child pornography sting

Eleven people have been arrested in central Florida, with 660 crime charges filed against the suspects.

(Polk County Sheriff’s Office)

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office announced earlier this week that the investigators have arrested 11 suspects in a child pornography sting in central Florida, a number of them worked at Disney World and Legoland.

A total of 660 crime charges are filed against the suspects, but more could be tacked on as the research progresses, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office confirmed in a press release.

“As you know, this is just the beginning – when we serve search warrants and seize the devices that these suspects are used for the downloading and distribution of pornography, we do a complete forensic investigation, and in all likelihood we’ll be adding more costs in connection with the crime of possession and distribution of images and videos of children being sexually abused,” said Sheriff Grady Judd.

Among the suspects arrested included a man who worked as a project manager in a Disney World costume department, and another, which does not work on the park, but was a “Disney annual pass holder and often attends the theme park only.”

(iStock)

Among the 11 suspects arrested, a 53-year-old Roger Catey, Davenport, Florida, told the police he worked as a project manager in the costumes of the department in Disney World. He was charged with 24 counts of possession of child pornography and two counts of the performance of the sexual preference of a child, police say.

He was also fired from Disney World, according to the Associated Press.

Another man, 69-year-old Donald Marich, was not an employee of Disney World, but “is a Disney annual pass holder and often attends the theme park alone,” police said. He was arrested on 16 counts of possession and 3 counts of promoting the sexual performance.

One of the suspects told the police that he was working as a Lego builder at Merlin Entertainments, owner of Legoland Florida.

(iStock)

Police also arrested and accused of Rickie Vargas-Garcia, 30, with 10 counts of possession of child pornography. At the time of his arrest, he told the police he was employed as a Lego builder for Merlin Entertainments, owner of Legoland Florida, among other Legoland locations.

The other nine suspects arrested in the sting, which was renamed to “Guardians of Innocence II,” a 16-year-old high school student, college student, and an 84-year-old retired engineer.

Police say a suspect, the 21-year-old Andres Estrada, was killed Friday when he attacked a deputy and reached for her gun. He was shot by another deputy.

Representatives of Disney World and Legoland were not immediately available for comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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