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GPD makes child exploitation arrest

Joshua Simaul Bryan

Press release from Gainesville Police Department

On Wednesday, February 3, 2021, the Gainesville Police Department (GPD) Internet Crimes against Children (ICAC) division, with the assistance of GPD SWAT, served a search warrant at 1415 SW 42nd Street, #1C. 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 uploaded and shared child sexual abuse material through the Dropbox file hosting service.

Subsequent to the Cyber Tip, GPD 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 a minor prepubescent child. Further investigation revealed that the account was linked to Joshua S Bryan (DOB: 07/13/1986), who lived at the residence to be searched. Bryan was interviewed by GPD detectives on February 3, 2021, but did not admit to any wrongdoing and reported no knowledge of the associated accounts and email addresses. As a result of the search warrant, numerous electronic devices capable of storing digital media were seized.

A digital forensic examination of Bryan’s cellular phone recovered deleted chats, images, and email addresses associated with child exploitation. Most of these accounts and email addresses matched the ones Bryan previously stated he had no knowledge of. The recovered chats revealed Bryan posing as a juvenile while soliciting images from other self-reported children.

On Wednesday, February 10, 2021, GPD detectives arrested Bryan based on 10 counts of Possession of Child Pornography. In the interview, Bryan admitted he had posed as a juvenile on various social media platforms. Bryan stated he “set them up” (the kids) when the kids sent him nude images because he would save the images in an effort to reach out to their parents and “get them in trouble.” However, he added that he never contacted the parents. Bryan also admitted to the ownership of the Dropbox account in question.

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The investigation and forensic analysis is still on-going.

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