On Thursday, September 18, 2014, PCSO Computer Crimes detectives filed 24 counts of Attempted Possession of Child Pornography and 6 counts of Possession of Child Pornography against 36-year-old John Justin Middleton of 6306 Silver Leaf Lane in Lakeland. Middleton is currently in the Polk County Jail on drug-related charges.
According to the affidavits, the investigation began on August 19, 2014, when PCSO detectives served a search warrant at Middleton's home related to the possession of child pornography. During the search warrant, detectives seized Middleton's computer equipment - an initial review of one of the computers revealed someone had attempted to delete files off of the computer, and further analysis was needed.
During the search of the residence, detectives found Methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, and subsequently arrested Middleton for one count Possession of Meth and 7 counts Possession of Paraphernalia. He was booked into the Polk County Jail, and has been in the jail since that time being held on $500 bond per Possession of Paraphernalia charge, and $1000 bond for the Possession of Meth charge.
Detectives continued to conduct a forensic analysis on Middleton's seized computer equipment. At this time, detectives have recovered 2 videos depicting sexual performance of a child with children as young as 5 years of age, and 4 videos that had been shared that depict sexual performance of a child with children as young as 3 years of age. Detectives also found evidence of 24 incomplete downloads of file names with known child pornography terms involving children as young as 6 years of age.
Middleton remains in the Polk County Jail on no bond for the additional 30 charges, and will have a first appearance hearing today.
"John Middleton thinks he is smarter than a PCSO computer crimes detective, but he isn't. Our detectives are the very best in the business. They are tenacious, and they leave no stone unturned when it comes to the protection of our children." - Sheriff Grady Judd