The case began when an Internet service provider alerted law enforcement to illicit images being sent to and from the home computer of Adam Arnold, 44. A search warrant revealed approximately 15,000 child pornography images hidden in Arnold’s personal computer. Arnold admitted that he was posting and receiving child pornography through a website based in Russia.
The court reviewed 49 pages of victim impact statements filed on behalf of approximately two dozen children who were depicted in the seized images. The court commented that their injuries were substantial and long-lasting.
"Child predators know no boundaries. They abuse positions of trust and prey on innocent children," said Susan McCormick, special agent in charge of HSI Tampa. "Arnold was working as an information technology technician at Buck Lake Elementary School when he was arrested Sept. 13. Thankfully, due to the investigative efforts of HSI and our law enforcement partners, he will spend the next nine years behind bars for the crimes he committed."
In addition to the nine years of incarceration, Arnold must serve a life term of supervised release. While on supervised release, Arnold must register as a sex offender, seek counseling as a sex offender and submit to searches of his computer and other property by his probation officer.
"The safety and well-being of our children is a top priority for the Department of Justice. Our office will continue to aggressively prosecute these cases to protect the community and children, who are our most innocent victims," said U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida Pam Marsh.
The investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.