On Thursday, July 30, 2015, PCSO undercover Computer Crimes detectives arrested 38-year-old Joshua L. Pierce of 343 Cherokee Avenue in Haines City and charged him so far with two counts Possession of Child Pornography and one count Tampering With Evidence.
According to the affidavit, PCSO received a cyber tip from NCMEC (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) in reference to an unknown suspect living at the aforementioned address uploading child pornography to Dropbox. The images depicted two juvenile girls posing nude, and 16 other images of girls of an undetermined age similarly posed. Detectives obtained a search warrant and responded to the address.
When deputies arrived at the home, Pierce's wife was home and advised her husband was at work. Mrs. Pierce advised she has seen images on her husband's phone, and believed he had a "sickness" when it came to child pornography, and that he uses a Kik messaging app on his phone. Mrs. Pierce did not believe any of the images she saw were of the children living in the home, however, she did believe the images were of juvenile females.
Detectives notified DCF to respond to the scene to interview the children living in the home. At this time it does not appear that the children in the home have been sexually abused, nor do they appear to be in any of the images located so far.
When Pierce arrived at his home, he was taken into custody without incident. Post-Miranda, Pierce told detectives he uses the Kik mobile phone messaging app to trade images, and uploads the images to Dropbox. Pierce told detectives he has a "sickness" and that he prefers females between the ages of 15 and 19 years old. Pierce told detectives he has a second cell phone that he uses to trade pornography, and to take photos or videos of young females that he sees in public or sunbathing while he works as a pool cleaner. Pierce would not tell detectives where the second cell phone is. Detectives have obtained a search warrant for a storage unit belonging to Pierce.
The investigation is ongoing and further charges are pending forensic analysis of the items seized and the second cell phone, once it is located. Pierce has no prior arrests in Polk County. His mugshot is attached.