Teacher arrested with 15 others in Polk County online child sex sting "Operation Cyber Child III"

POLK COUNTY, Fla. - A geometry teacher at Haines City High School was arrested, along with 15 others in an online child sex sting.

The information came in a press release from Polk County Sheriff's Office:

16 people have been arrested in “Operation Cyber Child III,” an undercover operation conducted by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) focusing on adults travelling to meet minors to engage in sexual activity and on those who possess child pornography.  The operation concluded Monday night, June 30, 2014 and included two phases:  the first phase resulted in 3 arrests for possession of child pornography and the second phase resulted in 13 arrests for those who travelled to have sex with those who they believed were underage girls and boys. 

“Some have not gotten the message.  We are going to continue to conduct these investigations to protect our children from sexual predators and from those who trade and download child pornography.”  Sheriff Grady Judd

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is the Central Florida Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Coordinator.  This is the 10th traveler investigation operation conducted by the Polk County Sheriff’s office in coordination with other central Florida ICAC agencies since 2006.

The Child pornography arrests were a result of three search warrants that were executed on June 18 at three homes in Polk County.  The search warrants resulted in three individuals being arrested, to include one man who was employed with the Polk County School Board as a teacher.

The first search warrant was executed at 3362 Youngway Drive, Lakeland, in reference to multiple images of child pornography being uploaded from the residence.  At the time of the search warrant, there were no occupants in the residence, however, contact was made with one of the identified residents of the house, Jesus Arroyo (17 years of age), who responded to the scene, along with his mother.  During an interview, Arroyo admitted to viewing child pornography, with the youngest victim being approximately one to two years of age and the oldest victim being approximately ten years of age.  Arroyo was arrested and charged with Possession of Child Pornography (7 counts).

Detectives executed the second search warrant at 1512 Main Street East, Lakeland, in reference to someone at the residence uploading twenty two images of child pornography. Three individuals were located inside the residence.  During interviews of the residents, 34-year-old John King made admissions regarding viewing child pornography, with the youngest victim being approximately six years of age.  King was arrested and charged with Possession of Child Pornography (22 counts). King has a significant criminal history with 19 previous charges.

The final search warrant was executed at 9017 Thomasville Drive, Winter Haven regarding images of child pornography being uploaded from the residence.  Contact was made with the sole resident, 28-year-old Matthew Tillesen. During an interview with detectives, Tillesen made multiple admissions regarding the possession and distribution of child pornography.  Fifty (50) images of child pornography were discovered on Tillesen’s computer, with the youngest victim being approximately one to two years of age.  Tillesen is a geometry teacher at Haines City High School, where he has worked for the past two years. Prior to his assignment at Haines City High School, Tillesen was assigned to Westwood Middle School for two years as a math teacher, and was a substitute teacher in Pinellas County for two years prior to employment in Polk County. Tillesen was arrested and charged with Possession of Child Pornography (50 counts). 

The second phase of the operation began June 21, 2014, and ended in the early morning hours of July 1, 2014.  This phase of the operation focused on adults travelling to meet minors to engage in sexual activity.  This investigation operated from an undercover location in Polk County and included law enforcement officers from the following agencies:  St. Petersburg Police Department, Orlando Police Department, North Port Police Department, Florida Department of Law Enforcement - Tampa Bay Regional Operations Center, Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, Lake County Sheriff's Office, Osceola County Sheriff's Office, Seminole County Sheriff's Office, Orange County Sheriff's Office, Hardee County Sheriff's Office, Citrus County Sheriff's Office, and Air Force - Office of Special Investigations.

During the operation, undercover detectives monitored various Internet web sites and social media computer applications.  Detectives posted fictitious ads or profiles on various websites and applications. Despite the repeated warnings and media coverage of past operations, numerous men chatted online, emailed, texted, and talked on the phone with the undercover detectives who posed as children online. The suspects solicited for sex acts, sent pornographic pictures and images of themselves, and asked for nude photos

of the children to be sent to them. The men travelled to the undercover location to follow through with the promises made online to engage in sexual activity with the children.  

Those arrested, in order of dates of arrest, are:

  1. Awais Iftikhar

Age:                 25

Address:          11724 Reddy Creek Drive, Apt. 303, Orlando, FL

Occupation:     Walgreen’s – Store Clerk

Charges:          Use 2-Way Communication Device to Commit Felony

                        Use Computer to Seduce/Solicit/Lure Child

                        Travel to Meet After Use Computer to Lure Child

                        Lewd Lascivious Conduct by Person Over 18 YOA

On 6/22/2014 at approximately 2024 hours, Iftikhar arrived at a predetermined location and was placed under arrest. After his arrival, the suspect and his vehicle were searched, during which condoms were located in his pocket and vehicle.  Iftikhar admitted to detectives that he contacted a female, who multiple times identified herself as a 14 year old, on a social networking site.  The suspect admitted to having the conversations with the female (undercover), but stated he only brought the condoms to show her what she was asking him to do, and never had any intentions of having sexual intercourse with her.

 

  1. Anthony Keo

Age:                 18

Address:          1809 Evelyn Drive, Garland, TX

Occupation:     Student

Charges:          Transmit Material Harmful to Minor

                        Use Computer to Seduce/Solicit/Lure Child

                        Travel to Meet After Sue Computer to Lure Child

                        Lewd and Lascivious Conduct by Person Over 18 YOA

Keo contacted an undercover detective depicting herself as a 13-year-old girl on a social networking site.  Keo engaged the undercover detective posing as a 13-year-old girl in an online conversation that included: if she had ever had sex; asked her to send a naked photo; asked her if she had seen a penis before, asked her if she wanted to perform oral sex on him (Keo); and a number of other graphic sexual conversations.  Keo sent a picture of his penis to the undercover detective.  Keo responded to the undercover location and was arrested.  Keo admitted to detectives that he came to the undercover location to meet a girl whom he believed was 13 years old and to have sex with the girl.  He admitted to sending a picture of his penis. 

 

  1. Jose Luis Torres

Age:                 39

Address:          306 Canary Island Circle, Davenport, FL

Occupation:     Unemployed

Charges:          Use 2-Way Communication Device to Commit Felony

                        Use Computer to Seduce/Solicit/Lure Child

                        Travel to Meet after Use Computer to Lure Child

                        Lewd Lascivious Conduct by Person Over 18 YOA

Crim. History:  Criminal Sale of Controlled Substance (New York)

Torres made contact with an undercover detective on a social networking site.  The detective told Torres that she was 14-years-old girl.  Torres engaged in sexual oriented online conversation with the detective posing as a 14-year-old girl.  Torres traveled to an undercover location and was arrested.  Torres had a condom in his left sock.  Torres admitted to deputies that he had the sexually oriented conversations with a girl and that she said she was 14.  Torres told detectives he did not believe her (that she was 14).

 

  1. Kevin Sisco

Age:                 23

Address:          3040 Aloma Avenue, B2, Winter Park, FL

Occupation:     Student – Full Sail

Charges:          Misrepresent Age – Use Computer to Solicit/Lure Child

Use Computer to Seduce/Solicit/Lure Child

Use Computer to Seduce/Solicit/Lure Child

                        Travel to Meet After Sue Computer to Lure Child

                        Lewd and Lascivious Conduct by Person Over 18 YOA

                        Transmit Material Harmful to Minor

Sisco engaged in an online conversation with and undercover detective who he believed was a 13-year-old girl.  Sisco engaged in sexually oriented conversations with the undercover via a social networking site, text messaging, and via voice communication on the telephone.  Sisco sent a picture of his penis.  Sisco travelled to an undercover location in Polk County and was arrested.  Sisco told deputies that he believed he was communicating with a 13 year old girl, and his intention was to travel and meet with the 13 year old girl for the purpose of having protected sex.  Sisco admitted to sending a picture of his penis to the undercover detective.  Sisco stated he knew his actions were wrong and unlawful. 

 

  1. Jonathan Cruz

Age:                 18

Address:          9834 Oxford Drive, Winter Haven, FL

Occupation:     Racetrac Store Clerk

Charges:          Use 2-Way Communication Device to Commit Felony

                        Use Computer to Seduce/Solicit/Lure Child

                        Travel to Meet After Sue Computer to Lure Child

                        Lewd and Lascivious Conduct by Person Over 18 YOA

Cruz engaged in conversation

with an undercover detective who told Cruz via online communication that he was a 13-year-old boy.  The conversation also occurred on the Kik application.  Cruz engaged in sexually oriented conversation (engaging in oral sex with who he thought was a 13 year old boy) with the detective.  He travelled to the undercover location and was arrested.  He told deputies he travelled to the undercover location to receive oral sex from who he thought was a 13 year old boy.  

 

  1. Matthew “Cody” Myers

Age:                 23

Address:          1215 Village Place, Davenport, FL

Occupation:     Universal Studios

Charges:          Use Computer to Seduce/Solicit/Lure Child

                        Travel to Meet After Use Computer to Lure Child

                        Lewd Lascivious Conduct by Person Over 18 YOA

                        Unlawful Use of 2-Way Communication Device

Myers engaged in an online conversation with an undercover detective who identified herself as a 14-year-old girl.  Myers initiated a sexual conversation with who he thought was a 14 year old girl to include sexual intercourse.  Myers travelled to an undercover location in Polk County and was arrested.  He admitted to detectives that he solicited the conversation about sex and came to the residence with the mindset to have unprotected sexual intercourse with a 14 year old girl.  Myers told deputies that prior to working in food service at Universal Studios, he was employed by Disney in food service.  He said he has also been employed by Sea World in the past. 

 

  1. Michael Tyler Shaw

Age:                 21

Address:          709 Eastlawn Drive, Celebration, FL

Occupation:     College Student

Charges:          Use 2-Way Communication Device to Commit Felony

                        Use Computer to Solicit Parent/Guardian Cons.

                        Travel to Meet After Use Computer to Lure Child

                        Travel to Meet After Use Computer Solicit Guardian

                        Lewd Battery

Shaw engaged in an online conversation with an undercover detective who portrayed himself as the father of a 12 year old girl who was willing to provide his daughter for sex to those who would pay “ro$e$,” meaning money.  Shaw discussed prices with the undercover detective and settled on $50 if he could make out with the 12 year old girl, get her naked, perform oral sex on her, and receive oral sex from her.  Shaw travelled to the undercover location and was arrested.  The suspect admitted to detectives that he responded to a Craigslist ad and agreed to pay money to engage in sexual conduct with a child he believed to be 12 years old.  He told detectives he knew his conduct was wrong.  He also admitted that he has searched for “child pornography” online, but he did not find any.

 

  1. Luis Enrique Alvarez

Age:                 33

Address:          816 N. Davis Avenue, Lakeland, FL

Occupation:     Unemployed

Charges:          Use 2-Way Communication Device to Commit Felony

                        Use Computer to Seduce/Solicit/Lure Child

                        Travel to Meet after Use Computer to Lure Child

                        Exhibition Offense

                        Transmit Material Harmful to Minor

                        Driving on Expired Driver’s License

Crim. History:  Drive with Expired DL

                        DUI

Alvarez engaged in an online conversation via a social networking site with an undercover detective who portrayed herself as a 14-year-old girl.  The conversation moved to texting via cellphone.  Alvarez initiated numerous sexually oriented conversations with a person who he believed was 14 years old.  Alvarez travelled to the undercover location and was arrested.  Alvarez admitted to detectives that he sent sexually explicit text messages to a girl he believed was “14 or 15.”  He also admitted that he offered the “girl” to pay her $50 to have sex with her.  He told detectives he knew his actions were wrong.

 

  1. Zachary Spencer

Age:                 26

Address:          16537 Sunrise Vista Drive, Clermont, FL

Occupation:     Disney Magic Kingdom (Ticket Supervisor)

Charges:          Use 2-Way Communication Device to Commit Felony

                        Use Computer to Seduce/Solicit/Lure Child

                        Travel to Meet after Use Computer to Lure Child

                        Exhibition Offense

                        Transmit Materials Harmful to Minor

Spencer initiated contact with an undercover detective via a social networking site.  The undercover detective told Spencer he was a 13 year old boy.  Spencer initiate sexually explicit messages to a person he thought was a 13 year old boy, including mutual oral sex and soliciting the boy to “sit on my face.”  The suspect travelled to the undercover location and was arrested.  He admitted to detectives that he believed he was conversing with a 13 year old boy and admitted that he made several statements to the boy requesting to perform (or have performed) multiple sexual acts when they met.

 

  1. Allen
    1. Treaster

    Age:                 40

    Address:          5273 Sunset Canyon Drive, Kissimmee, FL

    Occupation:     Disney’s Animal Kingdom – concierge

    Charges:          Use 2-Way Communication Device to Commit Felony

                            Use Computer to Seduce/Solicit/Lure Child

                            Travel to Meet after Use Computer to Lure Child

                            Lewd Lascivious Conduct by Person over 18 YOA

                            Transmit Materials Harmful to Minor

    Treaster engaged in sexually oriented online conversations with who he thought was a 14-year-old boy.  Conversations were conducted via a social networking site and on AOL, phone calls, and text messages.  Treaster travelled to the undercover location and was arrested.  He admitted to deputies that he travelled to meet a 14-year-old boy to see where things would lead to and was hoping for sex.  He admitted to chatting about performing oral sex on the “boy.”  Treaster said that it has always been a fantasy of his to have sex with a 14 year old boy.  He also told deputies that this was not the first time he travelled to have sex with an underage boy.  He told deputies he drove to the Thomasville, Georgia area twice to meet a 15 year old boy.  He told detectives he had oral and anal sex with the boy at a motel.  These encounters are under investigation.

     

    1. Jacob Bickel

    Age:                 20

    Address:          1260 31st Street, SW, Naples, FL

    Occupation:     Student at USF

    Charges:          Use 2-Way Communication Device to Commit Felony

                            Use Computer to Seduce/Solicit/Lure Child

                            Travel to Meet after Use Computer to Lure Child

                            Lewd Lascivious Conduct by Person over 18 YOA

                            Transmit Materials Harmful to Minor

    As a result of an online conversation with an undercover detective, Bickel was provided with contact information of a “gay 13-year-old boy.”  Bickel described sexual activity he would like to engage in with the 13 year old boy including oral and anal sex.  Bickel travelled to the undercover location and was arrested.  He brought with him two condoms and personal lubricant in his front pockets.  Bickel told admitted to detectives that he arrived at the location to meet a 13-year-old boy.  He told detectives he just came to talk.

     

    1. Stephen Carlson

    Age:                 23

    Address:          3570 Rolando Drive, Palm Harbor, FL

    Occupation:     Lee Roy Selmon’s

    Charges:          Use 2-Way Communication Device to Commit Felony

                            Destroy / Tamper with Evidence

                            Use Computer to Seduce/Solicit/Lure Child

                            Travel to Meet after Use Computer to Lure Child

                            Lewd Lascivious Conduct by Person over 18 YOA

                            Transmit Materials Harmful to Minor

    Carlson met an undercover detective on a social networking site who represented herself as a 13-year-old girl.  Carlson engaged in online conversation with who he thought was a 13-year-old girl on a social networking site and on text messaging.  He made a number of sexually suggestive communications including: “What is your bra size, do you ever touch yourself, what if I had said I wanted to have sex with you, I was trying to picture you naked, wish I could’ve gotten a picture of that.”  Carlson was observed walking in the area of the undercover location.  When a detective attempted to make a citizen contact, Carlson immediately threw his cell phone into a field, put his hands in the air then laid down on the ground while saying “I’m so sorry” and “You got me.”

     

    1. Timothy Lucas

    Age:                 20

    Address:          132 Grovepark Drive, Davenport, FL

    Occupation:     Unemployed

    Charges:          Use 2-Way Communication Device to Commit Felony

                            Use Computer to Seduce/Solicit/Lure Child

                            Travel to Meet after Use Computer to Lure Child

                            Lewd Lascivious Conduct by Person over 18 YOA

                            Transmit Materials Harmful to Minor

                            Possess Promote Present Depicting Child Sex

    Lucas contacted an undercover detective who identified herself as a 13 year-old girl.  Online conversations took place on a social networking site, texting, and voice communication via cell phone.  Lucas engaged in sexually oriented conversations with who he thought was a 13 year old girl.  Lucas sent a picture of an erect penis to the undercover detective who he thought was a 13-year-old girl.  Lucas travelled to the undercover location and was arrested.  Lucas admitted to detectives that he believed the girl he had online sexual conversations with was 13-years-old.  He admitted that he sent a picture of his erect penis to the “girl” he thought was 13.  He told detectives that he felt “terrible” about talking sex with her.  Lucas stated that he is currently unemployed due to being fired by Walt Disney World approximately 2 weeks prior for missing work for medical

  • reasons.  During a forensic preview of Lucas’ cell phone, an image of child pornography was located.  During a follow up interview with Lucas, he admitted to viewing and trading child pornography on his cell phone and laptop computer.  An investigation related to Lucas’ possession of child pornography is continuing.  

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