News


Ocala Police Officer Arrested for Solicitation of a Minor

4/20/2007
 
Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) arrested Matthew Edmonds, 32, of Ocala, Fla. today and charged him with one count of using a computer to solicit a child under 18 for a sexual encounter and one count of transmitting harmful material to a minor. Edmonds is an officer with the Ocala Police Department. More charges may follow after a full forensic review of Edmonds’ computers.

Edmonds became a suspect during an undercover operation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Computer Crime Center, the Ocala Police Department and the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce. Based on online chats Edmonds had with an FDLE agent posing as a young girl, a search warrant was issued at Edmonds’ residence. Agents confiscated two computers and other media storage devices.

Edmonds was subsequently arrested and booked into the Marion County Jail on a $4,000 bond.
FDLE is an active member of the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. This task force is one of 45 federally-funded task forces nationwide created solely to investigate Internet crimes against children that include the online sexual exploitation of children and child pornography.

Please visit the FDLE Computer Crime Center Web site to review tips for keeping your children safe online at: www.fdle.state.fl.us/FC3/

For Further Information Contact:
Heather Smith or Kristen Perezluha
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001