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PCSO News Release

Media Contact:
Eleazer, Carrie

Public Information Officer 
News Date: 8/26/2015 

 PCSO Deputies File 426 Additional Child Pornography Charges Against Polk County Jail Inmate Daniel Dunfee 


 

On Tuesday, August 25, 2015, PCSO Computer Crimes detectives filed an additional 426 Possession of Child Pornography charges against “sextortion” suspect 21-year-old Daniel Dunfee, who has been in the Polk County Jail since his May 26th arrest. Dunfee was originally arrested during “Operation Child Shield 2,” conducted by PCSO in May 2015, during which nine total suspects were arrested.

 

"Daniel Dunfee is a horrific example of why we vigorously pursue, arrest, and prosecute those who prey on children. He is the 'poster child' sexual predator. We pray there are no other victims out there, but unfortunately, we fear there might be. Please, please call us if you have any indication Dunfee has preyed upon any young girls. We will gladly add more charges on, and work with you to get help for the victims." - Sheriff Grady Judd

 

During the May operation, a search warrant was executed at 513 Worchester Court in Lakeland where 21-year-old Daniel Dunfee (DOB 10/6/1993) resides. Detectives received information that an adult male in the home solicited two teenaged girls (14 years old and 16 years old) who live in Illinois to send him nude photos of themselves via the Kik and Snapchat messenger applications. The suspect portrayed himself as someone who also lives in Illinois. The suspect originally made contact with the girls on Instagram and obtained their Kik and Snapchat information, and asked to “trade nude photos and videos” with the victims. After sending nude photos of himself to, and obtaining photos from the young female victims, the suspect then coerced and threatened the victims to send him more photos, or he would post the photos they had already sent to him online. 

 

The victims blocked the suspect from their social media accounts. One of the victims’ fathers reported the incident to the Elgin (IL) Police Department. Detectives with the Elgin (IL) Police Department conducted an investigation and identified the suspect as living in Lakeland, FL, and contacted PCSO. During a post-Miranda interview, Dunfee told detectives he created fake Instagram, Kik and Snapchat accounts in order to communicate with the juvenile victims, and coerced them to send sexually explicit photos and videos of themselves to him. Dunfee was placed under arrest and charged with:

 

·         19 counts Possession of Child Pornography (F-2)

·         4 counts Transmission of Material Harmful to Minor (F-3)

·         2 counts Use of Computer to Seduce a Child (F-3)

·         1 counts Misrepresenting Age and Use of Computer to Seduce a Child (F-2)

·         2 counts Extortion (F-2)

·         2 counts Criminal Use of Personal Identification (F-3)

·         2 counts Unlawful Use of Two-Way Communication Device (F-3)

 

Since Dunfee’s arrest, PCSO Computer Crimes detectives, with the assistance of ICAC Task Force partnering agencies, have been conducting forensic analyses on Dunfee’s cell phone and computer equipment (iPhone and Macbook), during which they positively identified eight (8) victims of “sextortion” -- seven additional victims, and one victim from the original arrest. Detectives located 293 additional images/videos on the computer and 133 images/videos on his phone depicting juvenile females engaged in sexual conduct. Some of the victims can be heard in the videos crying and pleading with Dunfee to delete the images and videos and conversations. The victims range in age from 13 years old to 17 years old.

 

With the assistance of law enforcement across the U.S., the eight victims were located living in eight different locations: Eugene, Oregon; Silverdale, Washington; Dundee, Illinois; Elgin, Illinois; St. Augustine, FL; Panama City, FL; Trophy Club, Texas; and Decatur, Tennessee.

 

The partnering agencies involved in this investigation are:

 

·         Meigs County Sheriff’s Department, Decatur, TN

·         Bay County Sheriff’s Office, Panama City, FL

·         St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, St. Augustine, FL

·         Trophy Club Police Department, Trophy Club, TX

·         Washington ICAC Task Force, Seattle PD, WA

·         Elgin Police Department, Elgin, IL

·         Eugene Police Department, Eugene, OR

 

The five different identities and 16 different usernames/psedonyms used by Dunfee are:

 

·         B.M. (actual male, not a victim):

o   openseazon

o   Seasongreatnis

o   Sevenisluckyy

o   underthetelevision

o   yourlove4everr

o   openseazon2

o   likeatornado1

o   itsmibday

o   insideyourheavens

 

·         Taylor Austin:

o   amazonitlol

 

·         Trae Hartman:

o   Openseason5

 

·         Austin Costello:

o   itstheStarts

 

·         C.S. (actual female, actual victim):

o   Seamorrnext

o   lostinurplanet

o   InyoureyesiDREAM

o   Despicablememini

 

 

Each of the eight victims were communicating with Dunfee as he used various fictitious online personas. Dunfee would coerce the victims to send sexually explicit images of themselves to him, and would threaten to harm them or their family members if they did not comply. The victims believed the threats were real. At least one of the threats used by Dunfee was that he would commit suicide if they did not comply. Dunfee became more vulgar and threatening towards the victims over time. At least one of the victims was contacted by other users on the Kik messaging app who told her they had seen her photos and encouraged her to send more to Dunfee.

 

The following is a breakdown of victims:

 

o   Detectives positively identified a 13 yr old girl from Silverdale, Washington who sent 42 images/videos to Dunfee; he threatened to harm her and her family; he sent her a picture of a gun and her address so she would know he knew where she lived; he became more threatening and violent over time; the victim was contacted by other KIK users telling her that they saw her pictures and encouraged her to send more.

 

o   Detectives positively identified a 16 yr old girl from Dundee, Illinois, who is one of the same victims from the original case; detectives found 49 more images/videos of her.

 

o   Detectives positively identified a 14 yr old girl from Elgin, Illinois, who is related to one of the victims from the original case; detectives found 16 more images/videos of her.

 

o   Detectives positively identified a 15 yr old girl from St. Augustine, Florida, and found 42 images/videos of her.

 

o   Detectives positively identified a 15 yr old girl from Panama City, Florida, and found 51 images/videos of her.

 

o   Detectives positively identified a 15 yr old girl from Eugene, Oregon, and found 27 images/videos of her. The victim is crying in some of the videos.

 

o   Detectives positively identified a 16 yr old girl from Trophy Club, Texas, and found 27 images/videos of her. The victim is heard pleading with Dunfee to delete the photos and their conversation history.

 

o   Detectives positively identified a 17 yr old girl from Decatur, Tennessee, and found 39 images/videos of her. The victim is crying during several videos.

 

There may be more victims out there. If you recognize this suspect or feel your child may be a victim, please contact PCSO at 863-298-6200 or send an email to tips@polksheriff.org.