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GPD makes child exploitation arrest

Press release from Gainesville Police Department

On Thursday, March 17, 2022, the Gainesville Police Department (GPD) Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Division, with the assistance of GPD SWAT, served a search warrant at 3010 SW 23rd Terrace, #28. 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 solicited and received child sexual abuse material (CSAM) through the social networking site Tagged. The chats uncovered the unknown suspect pretending to be an adult female and soliciting child exploitation content from juveniles.

Further investigation revealed that the account was likely registered to Wladimir Symonette (DOB: 12/25/1985) who lived at the residence to be searched.

Symonette was interviewed by detectives on March 17, 2022, and acknowledged ownership of the Tagged account. Symonette initially denied that he had communicated with the juveniles and claimed he was borrowing a friend’s account so he wasn’t certain of that specific communication.

Symonette later admitted to creating a fictitious persona utilizing the image of a female to communicate with subjects on Tagged, with some of those subjects being juveniles. Symonette admitted to soliciting and receiving exploitation content from the juveniles. Symonette was arrested based on two counts of Soliciting a Child to Commit Illegal Sexual Acts.

The Gainesville Police Department wants parents to be aware that children are being solicited and exploited through social networking applications. These social networking applications, like Facebook, KiK, Snapchat, TikTok, and Tagged are also used to share images and videos that depict young children being sexually abused. Please be vigilant and aware of any social networking platforms your children may access.

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If you have any questions about this incident, please contact GPD Detective Donna Montague at: 352-393-7730 or montagueda@cityofgainesville.org. Parents can also find resources at the NCMEC website: https://www.missingkids.org/HOME

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