Deputies have arrested a 53-year-old man who was in possession of child pornography from the dark web, thanks to cyber tips from the online advertising company and search engine, Google. Deputies, through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), were able to identify and arrest the culprit, Thomas Cook, after they received cyber tips, prompting them of the actions of the Sarasota man.

Reports state that agents of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received seven separate cyber tips through Google and alerted them about child pornography being downloaded at a location in Sarasota. Another tip then revealed the location which was in the 3500 block of Bali Drive in Sarasota. All of the cyber tips from Google, according to deputies contained over 90 images of underage girls dressed and posing in a sexually provocative manner.

Cyber tips

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All seven of the cyber tips from Google also provided an email address that was used in the downloading and viewing of child pornography on the dark web as well as two phone numbers. After deputies launched an investigation into the case, they later found Mr. Cook to be the owner of both the email and phone numbers as well as the location which Google gave away.  Mr. Cook was arrested at his residence by deputies and admitted during an interrogation to owning the email address and both telephone numbers associated with all of the seven cyber tips that were provided by Google.

The Sarasota man also confessed to becoming sexually attracted to children over a year ago but he only recently started to watch and download child pornography on the dark web. After he was shown the images that deputies had uncovered, he admitted to downloading all of them on several dark web marketplaces. Mr. Cook also confessed to masturbating to those images on several occasions. He pleaded with deputies to find him some help as he knows viewing and downloading child porn is wrong and vile.

An additional investigation from deputies revealed that the 53-year-old used one of his mobile phones solely for the internet, downloading and viewing child porn on the dark web. He remains in custody and is being charged with 40 felony counts of child pornography as well as a single count of failure to appear. Mr. Cook is also being held on a $200,100 as the case, according to deputies is still under investigation.

Mr. Cook’s arrest comes just days two other arrests were made with regards to Florida natives, viewing and downloading child porn on the dark web. A 55-year-old central Florida man was also arrested last week and charged with over hundred counts of child pornography, including nine counts of soliciting transmission of child pornography, 47 counts of transmission of child pornography, 16 counts of exposing himself in a lewd or lascivious manner to a victim under 16, 170 counts of possession of child pornography and 19 counts of conspiracy to transmit child pornography.

Cyber tips

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The culprit, Mark Wilson Harvery, is currently being held on a $2.8 million bond and is facing over 200 years in prison for his dark web child porn exploits. The Florida man was initially arrested on a warrant of four counts of furnishing obscene material to a minor using an electronic device and two counts of using a computer to solicit a minor. After agents executed a search warrant on his Lake Placid home, an additional 300 new charges were added to his already charges by deputies. He now faces a lengthy sentence of over 100 years if he is convicted, and sentenced given maximum prison sentences for all offenses.

Adam Godbey, a deputy with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office was also handed a prison sentence last week after pleading guilty to child porn charges. The deputy received a six and half month’s state prison sentence after admitting to ten counts of child porn. The Florida man was also ordered to register as a lifetime sex offender and will be on probation for 60 months after his prison sentence.

Deputy Adam Godbey received 78 months in state prison for pleading guilty to ten counts of child porn. He faced 30 counts at the time of his arrest in 2017. According to reports, the deputy was hit with 30 counts of child pornography charges back in 2017 after he got caught using the dark web to view and download the vile images and videos. Court documents revealed that the deputy spent over two years and six months in jail before his sentencing. The sheriff’s office also stated that he had been placed on administrative leave without pay.

Source: My Sun Coast


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