More than 12 men were arrested in central Florida last week for distributing child pornography, including two Walt Disney employees.
Justin Hazan, 32, and roommate Arlandres Sims, 36, were in the group of 16 men who were arrested by the sheriff’s office in Polk County. They were charged with 1400 felonies for possessing and distributing child pornography. The county sting was called Operation Guardians of Innocence V.
Hazan was charged with a dozen counts of child pornography. He worked on the Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run ride at Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney. Sims was employed at Disney as a food worker at Animal Kingdom Resort. He was charged with 20 counts of child pornography possession.
The sheriff’s office noted that every time one of the accused downloads or distributes child porn, a child is being sexually victimized and assaulted. Many of the child porn victims involved in the alleged crimes were less than one year old at the time of the offenses.
Disney Bus Driver Also Arrested
Another Walt Disney World Cast Member was arrested on suspicion of being involved in child pornography. His name is Zachary Hudson and he was employed on the Disney grounds as a bus driver. He was arrested after he sent sexually explicit messages and photos to an undercover police officer who he thought was a 15-year-old female.
The police said the detective asked the 30-year-old if he had an issue with her being under 18. He allegedly told her that ‘age is just a number’ and asked if his being older was a problem for her.
The conversation occurred over several text messages, and Hudson also is alleged to have sent a naked photo of himself to the officer.
After the text discussion, police officers got a warrant to place Hudson under arrest and he was taken to the police station in Orlando. He was still in his Disney uniform when he was photographed for his mug shot.
During the investigation, the Polk County sheriff noted that Disney employees are often caught in child pornography and sexual abuse scandals. Sheriff Grady Judd said ‘what would a police operation for pornography or human trafficking or sexual assault be without a Walt Disney employee? We always have at least one Disney employee.’
Hudson has been charged with a count of using a communication device to commit a felony, and one count of transmitting material that is dangerous to a minor.
Suspects Include Healthcare Professionals
Walt Disney workers were only a few of the people who were arrested in the child pornography sting. One, John Aziz, 36, was a pharmacist at the Heart of Florida Medical Center. He was charged with 70 counts of child pornography possession. Some of the child porn he possessed was of children as young as 18 months.
Another who was arrested was Edgardo Cancela,38, an RN at Osceola Regional Medical Center. He was charged with five counts of child pornography possession and five counts of promotion of child pornography. Cancela has two children.
The youngest suspect arrested was Landen Ulrich, 18, who was charged with 200 counts of child porn. He lives with his parents and brothers and sisters. The porn files he had on his computer involved victims as young as six months.
Another who was arrested was 62-year-old Frank Butler from Palm Beach Gardens. The sheriff said Butler waited until his wife of 30 years went to sleep in their Disney hotel room so he could meet a girl for sex that he thought was 13. After he was arrested by detectives, Butler said he was going to wait at the house where they met to tell her parents what he was doing.
Former Disney Actor Stoney Westmoreland Found Guilty For Child Sex Crime
Disney certainly seems to have a lot going on in the area of sexual crimes against children, based on the number of people who have been charged and even convicted recently.
Former Disney Channel actor Stoney Westmoreland was sentenced to two years in federal prison last week after he was arrested for trying to entice a 13-year-old into sex online.
TMZ reported last week that the Disney actor pleaded guilty to using interstate facilities to transmit sexual information about a child. The judge gave him two years in prison and 10 years of probation. The actor was originally being considered for up to 10 years in prison for enticement of a child online.
Westmoreland was arrested in 2018 in Salt Lake City when he was onsite to film a Disney Channel show. He allegedly asked the person to have sex with him and send him naked pictures. Also, Westmoreland allegedly sent naked photos of himself to someone he thought was a child.
His attorney claimed the actor thought the text exchange was an online roleplay with an adult and Westmoreland never thought that he was talking to a child. As part of his plea, the actor has to register as a sex offender and report all of his email and social media accounts to the police.
Westmoreland played Henry Mack on the Disney Channel show Andi Mack in 2017. This was the first Disney TV series to have a gay major character, who was called Cyrus Goodman. The show received praise from gay activists because it detailed how a gay character might come out to his parents.
The actor was fired from the show in 2018 and because of his conviction, he cannot contact people who are under 18 without supervision.