Date: November 9, 2001 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact:

Aaron Flint, (863) 534-6377 or 502-8262 pager

PCSO Computer Crimes Unit Busts Child Porn File Server

Polk County Sheriff's Office Computer Crimes detectives and U.S. Customs agents arrested a Lakeland man Wednesday afternoon for distributing child pornography to Germany via the Internet. 

Patrick John Dedeo,  DOB 8/5/82, of 5555 New Tampa Highway in Lakeland, was arrested Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2001, and charged with 1 count of Distribution of Images Depicting the Sexual Performance by a Child (2nd Degree Felony) and 3 counts of  Possession of  Images Depicting the Sexual Performance by a Child ( Felony F-3). 

In march of this year, U.S. Customs agents contacted the PCSO Computer Crimes Unit after receiving a request for assistance from the German National Police in Wiesbedan, Germany concerning a computer in Polk County, Florida that was being used to distribute child pornography. Members of Operation “Kinderschuz”, a multi-national effort to combat computer child pornography, had obtained images of children engaging in sexual conduct from an F server on a computer in Polk County. A subsequent investigation by the PCSO and U.S. Customs revealed that the computer belonged to Patrick John Dedeo of 5555 New Tampa Highway in Lakeland, FL. 

PCSO Computer Crimes detectives and U.S. Customs agents seized the computer in July 2001 after determining that the server was no longer active on the Internet.  With the assistance of Bradford Copley, Assistant State Attorney, PCSO detectives and U.S. Customs agents were able to obtain a search warrant for the computer's contents.  Further examination of the computer revealed that Dedeo's computer was in fact the computer that had been accessed by the German National Police for delivering child pornography. 

In all, the PCSO worked with U.S. Customs, the German National Police, the Central Florida Child Exploitation Task Force, and Interpol (International Criminal Police Organization).  This type of multi-agency effort is not the first time that the PCSO has worked with federal and international agencies to stop the distribution of child pornography.

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Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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