Child Sex Offender Caught Living on Disney Property; Federal Agents Make Arrest in Florida

A mugshot of a young man with short, dark hair and a beard is centered between two images. On the left, cartoon characters Goofy and Pluto in sailor outfits stand in front of a colorful background. On the right, Mickey Mouse wears a captain's uniform, reminiscent of Disney Cruise Line adventures.
Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office

For millions of families around the world, Disney vacations are the perfect way to have wholesome family fun. Whether it be visiting Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, or sailing the seas on the Disney Cruise Line, escaping on a Disney vacation truly does feel like entering another world.

While most Disney guests love Disney for its magical and family-friendly environment, Disney parks and cruise ships are unfortunately not without their own instances of dangerous behavior. In a recent scandal that has rocked the Disney community, one child sex offender made himself at home on Disney property by living, eating, and sleeping right under the nose of Disney cast members.

Minnie on DCL

Credit: Disney

Disney Cruise Line Becomes Hotspot for Criminal Behavior

Disney Cruise Line, owned by the The Walt Disney Company, is a magical way to experience the enchantment of Disney at sea. Offering a variety of destinations, including the Bahamas, the Caribbean, and Europe, Disney Cruise Line provides guests with an unforgettable vacation experience.

From the moment you step on board one of their exquisite ships, such as the Disney Magic, Disney Wish, Disney Wonder, or Disney Fantasy, you are transported into a world of fantasy and adventure.

The Disney Cruise Line fleet is designed with families in mind, ensuring that guests of all ages can enjoy the magic of Disney while at sea. With world-class entertainment, delicious dining options, and exciting activities for kids and adults alike, there is never a dull moment on a Disney cruise.

Whether you’re exploring the pristine beaches of Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island paradise in the Bahamas, or immersing yourself in the festive atmosphere onboard, every moment on a Disney cruise is filled with wonder and excitement.

While Disney Cruise Line is known for being an amazing vacation destination, it is unfortunately also the unwilling host for criminals onboard. Despite their efforts to keep every guest safe, numerous criminals have boarded the DCL ships and inhabited them on their vacations. This past weekend, on Saturday, June 1, one such criminal was arrested while exiting the Disney Magic.

Related: Coast Guard Makes Emergency Rescue on Disney Cruise

disney cruise to the mediterranean

Credit: Disney Cruise Line

Dakota Anthony Ferguson Arrested

In an unfortunate turn of events, a child sexual predator has been found aboard a Disney Cruise Line ship. This past weekend, Dakota Anthony Ferguson, a 22-year-old man from Columbus, Ohio, met his fate when he exited the Disney Magic cruise ship at Port Everglades, one of Disney’s newest cruise ship ports located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Back in 2021, Ferguson was accused of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in his home state of Ohio with a minor between the ages of 13 and 15. He is currently facing two counts for his crimes, although he did plead not guilty.

As he embarked on the Disney Magic cruise ship, federal agents arrested Ferguson after finding child sexual abuse material on his phone. He was brought to court on Monday, where he faced charges of transportation and possession of child pornography.

According to authorities, Ferguson admitted to looking and sharing child sexual abuse on the Telegram app and on X. According to agents, the footage mostly shows videos of young girls being sexually abused or raped. The victims appearing are as young as two years old.

Disney Cruise Line

Credit: Disney

Far From the First Disney Cruise Line Incident

Unfortunately, this kind of criminal behavior has happened on Disney Cruise Line ships before. Earlier this year, a Disney Cruise Line employee named Amiel Joseph Trazo was caught viewing child pornography on a Disney ship. Time and time again, guests are reminded to stay safe and aware of their surroundings, even at a place as seemingly safe as Disney.

If you have any information on this case or any others similar to it, please contact police as soon as possible. For now, many eyes will turn to Disney to see if they have any comments to make regarding their background searching procedures for guests abroad on their cruise ships.

About Eva Miller

Eva was born and raised in the beautiful state of Oregon but has since relocated and lives in New York City. Since she was young, Eva has loved to perform in musicals, especially Disney ones! Through performing, Disney’s music became the soundtrack of her childhood. Today, Eva loves to write about all the exciting happenings for the Walt Disney Company. In her free time, Eva loves to travel, spend time in nature, and go to Broadway shows. Her favorite Disney movie is 'Lilo and Stitch,' and her favorite Park is Disney's Animal Kingdom.

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