A Disney costume designer, a community leader, and a police academy graduate are among the suspects arrested in sex sting targeting child predators in Polk County.
POLK COUNTY, Fla. - A Disney costume designer, a community leader, and a police academy graduate are among the suspects arrested in sex sting targeting child predators in Polk County.
During the week-long operation that ended on father's day, deputies arrested 41 suspects looking to have sex with kids. It's the largest operation in the county's history.
The 40 men and one woman responded to phony ads posted on the web sites Craigslist and Backpage by undercover detectives posing as minors.
Sheriff Grady Judd said the suspects engaged the detectives in graphic conversations online, and eventually agreed to meet up with the kids.
Deputies hid out in the decoy house, ready to arrest each person who walked in.
"We had those who brought condoms. Those who brought handcuffs. Those who brought padded handcuffs…" said Sheriff Judd. "One even arrived with chicken nuggets."
David Ullman, a well-respected community leader in Lake Wales, chatted up who he thought was a 14-year-old girl he met on Craigslist and eventually met up to have sex.
He described himself as a "family man" in texts sent to the undercover detective, according to the affidavit.
"He was Mr. Lake Wales," Judd said.
Video shot by deputies at the house shows Ullman trying to resist arrest at first. He is later heard saying, "Can I just tell you, I meant no harm. I really didn't!"
Many suspects came with condoms, handcuffs -- even purple, padded cuffs -- a dog collar, and some with porn.
Another notable suspect is James Walker, a costume designer at Disney World.
Investigators said Walker came to the decoy house twice. The first time he got spooked by sheriff's deputies working a burglary nearby.
"He was so intrigued, he came back later. And those were his words," Judd said.
Monday afternoon, a woman leaving Walker's Davenport home with boxes would not give her name, but defended the Disney employee.
"Not everything you hear is true, because it's not," she said.
Each of the 41 suspects will get their day in court, but as far as Sheriff Grady Judd is concerned, 41 child predators are off the streets.
"We saw the most deviant people here this last week," he said.