At approximately 8:33 am, Wednesday, August 19, 2015, PCSO detectives executed a search warrant at 1931 Hallam Drive, Lakeland, the home of 57-year-old Kurt Ritzheimer. Ritzheimer was found to be in possession of at least five images which depicted children between the ages of four and 11, engaged in lewd behavior and sexual activity with an adult.
“We are committed to protecting our children, and we are committed to ensuring that those who prey on children are held accountable. If you download or distribute child pornography – you are contributing to the victimization of children, and you will go to jail.” - Sheriff Grady Judd
Detectives had received information about the images from a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, or NCMEC. Detectives learned NCMEC had developed information about a man who was attempting to upload images through an email account on or about March 26, 2015.
Detectives were able to learn the identity of the subject, Ritzheimer, and further confirmed his address.
During the search of the residence, detectives learned Ritzheimer attempted to hide his cell phone which contained the images. Detectives also discovered a baggie of cannabis and a makeshift pipe in the kitchen.
Ritzheimer admitted to deputies to searching for child pornography on the Internet, viewing child pornography on the Internet, and to viewing child pornography earlier this morning (8-19-15).
Ritzheimer was charged with 5 counts of Possession of Child Pornography, Tampering with Evidence, Possession of Cannabis – less than 20 grams, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Ritzheimer was booked into the Polk County jail on no bond.