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Gainesville man arrested on 14 child pornography charges

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

Daniel Joseph Dickson, 39, turned himself in on September 19 on 14 child pornography charges. The case was investigated by Gainesville Police Department (GPD) and began with the discovery of child exploitation material on the BitTorrent network. The BitTorrent file referenced 310 files, at least one of which was identified as a file that was “of investigative interest to child exploitation investigations.”

The investigators connected to the device hosting the file, and a download of 157 files was successfully completed on July 25, 2021. Some of the files “clearly constitute child exploitation.” According to the sworn complaint, 82 of the files involved pre-pubescent females, with 64 of those being child sexual abuse material. The other 75 images involved pubescent juvenile females or child erotica.

A check of the IP address of the device revealed that it belonged to Cox Communications and was subleased to a user in Gainesville. The subscriber was identified, and the owner’s son, Dickson, was arrested after a search warrant was executed. Statements made by the owner’s son after being read his Miranda warning are redacted in the sworn complaint. The owner’s son has lived with his mother for about a year and a half, and his mother said that nobody else had lived in the house besides the two of them.

Investigators found multiple images of child sexual abuse material on the hard drive of Dickson’s primary laptop, resulting in 12 charges of possession of sexual performance by a child and two counts of distribution of child exploitation material.

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Dickson hired a lawyer, was able to negotiate to turn himself in, and is being held on bail of $350,000. His attorney has filed a motion to reduce his bail to $35,000 because his family would have to pay a bail bondsman $35,000 to make the $350,000 bail, but if he satisfies the conditions of bail, the bail bondsman would keep the $35,000, but if they are allowed to directly post $35,000 cash bail, the family would get the $35,000 back after the bail conditions are satisfied. The motion says that the family understands that he will have a GPS monitoring device and that their intention is for him to receive residential mental health treatment and then return to his mother’s house once he is discharged from that treatment. A hearing will be held on the motion on September 28.