GPD announces child pornography arrest

Press release from Gainesville Police Department

On August 18, 2020, the Gainesville Police Department (GPD) Internet Crimes against Children Division, with the assistance of GPD SWAT, served a search warrant at 1901 NE 2nd Street, Unit 305. The investigation was prompted after GPD received a Cyber Tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The Cyber Tip indicated that an account holder was uploading and sharing child sexual abuse material through the Facebook platform.

In a subsequent investigation, detectives obtained lawful access to the account information and the files that were shared. The files shared were determined to be child sexual abuse material of minor children.

Further investigation revealed that the account holder lived at the residence searched. After analyzing devices seized during the lawful search warrant, Detective Montague filed 15 charges, to include 10 counts of Possession of Child Pornography, 3 counts of Distribution of Child Pornography, and 2 counts of Solicitation of a Minor, against William Herron (DOB: 10-22-1948). In a post Miranda interview, Herron acknowledged the sharing and downloading of the child abuse material, admitting to soliciting victims as young as 10 years old.

The public should be aware that Facebook is in the process of developing and implementing end-to-end encryption across all of its platforms. This change could result in blocking law enforcement’s ability to obtain evidence of child exploitation that is occurring in Facebook communications. In 2018, Facebook made 16.8 million reports of child sexual exploitation and abuse content to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, of which it is estimated 12 million reports would be lost if the company implements end-to-end encryption.