FDLE arrests Marianna man for possession of child sexual abuse material

For Immediate Release
May 26, 2023
MARIANNA, Fla. – Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) arrested Thomas B. Richards III, 30, of Marianna, yesterday on 30 counts of possession of child sexual abuse material and one count of unlawful use of a two-way communications device, all felony charges. Due to the number of images and videos found, each count of possession is reclassified to a second-degree felony per Florida Statutes 775.0847.
The investigation began in March 2023 when FDLE received a cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about an account user downloading images of child sexual abuse material.
FDLE issued a search warrant to the service provider and conducted additional investigative work, identifying Richards as the account holder.
On May 25, FDLE agents executed a search warrant at Richards’ residence and seized multiple digital devices. Numerous files depicting the sexual abuse of children, including that of children younger than 5 years old, were found in addition to the images obtained from the search warrant to the service provider. Investigators with the Marianna Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations assisted with executing the search warrant.
The investigation remains active. Anyone with information about Richards that may help investigators is urged to contact FDLE Pensacola at (800) 226-8574.
Richards was arrested and booked into the Jackson County Jail on May 25. The case will be prosecuted by the State Attorney’s Office, 14th Judicial Circuit.
Please visit the FDLE website to review tips for keeping your children safe online at:
For Further Information Contact:
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001

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