Deputies nab 28 in undercover sting

6:36 PM, Apr 2, 2007   |    comments
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Bartow, Florida - All Polk County deputies have to do is log online posing as minors, and the guys come calling.

Investigators say the suspects are looking for sex with children, despite seeing popular network shows on the topic. 19-year-old Jonathan Tompkins says he came to meet a girl.

Jonathan Tompkins, Arrested in Sting
"Just to go into the pool and whatever happens, happens."

But Tompkins isn't the only one. Deputies say married father Milton Roe expected to meet a 13-year-old after exposing his genitals online. What Roe didn't know is there never was a girl. He and the others were chatting with undercover investigators.

Undercover Polk County Investigator
"It's amazing! You'll be online and while you're talking to one there is five, six, seven more trying to talk to you at one time. It's non-stop."

Tompkins admitted to reporters that he knew the girl he was trying to meet was underage.

Jonathan Tompkins, Arrested in Sting
"Yeah, I knew. I don't know what I was thinking."

He is now terminated from his job at the Boys and Girls Club in Orlando. A spokesperson said, ”We salute the efforts of law enforcement against anyone willing to do any harm to children."

Three men had jobs at Walt Disney World which issued this statement: "We take these matters very seriously. The cast members have been placed on unpaid leave."

Even television isn't immune. Christian Rodriguez-Torres, a production technician at WKMG -- an Orlando station -- is suspended.

The station's manager said, "We are shocked one of our employees was involved."

As the arrested work through the system, each faces felony charges and, if convicted, could be labeled a sex offender for life.

Sara Dorsey, Tampa Bay's 10 News

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