Agents Arrest Lakeland Man for Possession of Child Pornography

Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) arrested John L. Thurmond, 27, of Lakeland, Fla. and charged him with 100 counts of possession of child pornography. Each count is punishable up to five years in prison. Thurmond is an instructor at a local martial arts studio in Lakeland, Fla. and was immediately put on suspension until the investigation is completed. More charges may follow after a full forensic review of Thurmond's computer.

Thurmond became a suspect during an undercover operation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Computer Crime Center, Polk County Sheriff's Office and the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce. Agents were able to determine that Thurmond was utilizing his home computer to download and distribute child pornography.

Thurmond was subsequently arrested and booked into the Polk County Jail on a $100,000 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:

For more information, contact:

Trena Reddick
Public Information Officer
FDLE - Tampa Bay
(813) 878-7239 or 878-7300