News


Task Force Arrests Tampa Area Residents for Possessing and Distributing Child Pornography

3/2/2007
 
Attorney General Bill McCollum and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement today announced that five Tampa area residents were arrested for possession and distribution of child pornography. The arrests are the culmination of a weeklong operation in the Tampa area by federal, state and local law enforcement authorities investigating and apprehending individuals who possessed and distributed child pornography.

Those arrested include Jeffory Feldhaus, 22, of Largo, who will be charged with one count of possession of videos depicting the sexual performance of a minor and one count of distribution of videos promoting the sexual performance by a minor; Jerry Barfield, 41, of Plant City, who will be charged with 19 counts of possession of videos depicting the sexual performance of a minor and four counts of distribution of videos promoting the sexual performance by a minor; Trent Cox, 42, of Tampa, who will be charged with four counts of possession of videos depicting the sexual performance of a minor and one count of distribution of videos promoting the sexual performance by a minor; Michael Boyd, 41, of Tampa, who will be charged with 15 counts of possession of videos depicting the sexual performance of a minor; and Ryan Lawrence, 22, of Tampa, who will be charged with four counts of possession of videos depicting the sexual performance of a minor.

“Nothing is more important than keeping our children safe from individuals who attempt to steal their innocence by victimizing them in such a heinous manner,” said Attorney General McCollum. “We will never back down and we will never turn away from this fight to protect our youngest citizens.”

“Florida’s law enforcement is committed to working together to protect our most innocent citizens, our children, from being victimized by online predators,” said Special Agent Supervisor Mike Phillips of FDLE’s Computer Crime Center.

The arrests were part of a joint effort by the Attorney General’s Child Predator CyberCrime Unit and Office of Statewide Prosecution, FDLE’s Computer Crime Center, the FBI’s Innocent Images Task Force, the United States Secret Service, the Hillsborough, Pinellas and Polk Counties Sheriff’s Office and the Tampa and Plant City Police Departments. The agencies involved with the arrests are all members of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, a federally-funded program that assists law enforcement agencies in their investigation of internet crimes against children.