TAMPA, Fla. - Rodney Clair Gladd, Jr., 43, of Pinellas County, Fla., was arrested today by law enforcement with the Florida Attorney General's CyberCrime Unit after investigators discovered he had multiple images of child pornography in his possession.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the St. Petersburg Police Department assisted with the arrest.
CyberCrime investigators located images of child pornography during a routine investigation and traced the images back to Gladd's computer. A search warrant was executed at his St. Petersburg home where three computers, more than 20 hard drives, and multiple cameras, video tapes and CDs were seized. The items removed from the home will undergo forensic analysis to identify any additional images of child pornography.
Gladd will be booked into the Pinellas County Jail and will be charged with 15 counts of possession of child pornography, a third-degree felony which will be enhanced to a second-degree felony under the CyberCrimes Against Children Act.
The agencies involved are all members of the Central Florida Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.
The investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign-national predators whose crimes make them deportable.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.