True-crime research, novel writing research, and updates.
***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***
Last month, schools may have been canceled, but the court system was busy sentencing for school-related crimes.
BLOG POST #235: This week, I’m sharing research on a true-crime involving a retired elementary school principal.
He’d worked for the school district for 35 years before he retired and relocated to sunny Florida. As many principals do, he started with the district as a teacher and promoted to principal.
I believe just because someone is a good teacher doesn’t automatically make them the right candidate to be a good principal. Whether or not this man was a good teacher or a good principal is not in question. He simply wasn’t a good person.
It started with a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children who had received a tip from Google that one of their users had uploaded child pornography into their account. Uploaded, not downloaded.
Upon investigation into the user’s email account, the FBI found a similar tip a year earlier from Dropbox, referencing a user with the same email address.
The FBI needed an IP address to determine where the user lived and which Task Force would be assigned the case. A search warrant was served to direct Google to provide the contents of the email user’s account.
As the investigator probed deeper into the retired principal’s emails, he found other cloud storage services were also used to house the inappropriate photos and videos of young boys under 18.
Through the various accounts, they found the location of the IP address. The task force served the internet provider with a search warrant for records associated with the IP address. The IP address was shared by multiple users in one condominium complex. They had the user’s name from his emails—a quick search through DMV matched the name with the exact address.
While waiting for a search warrant for the residence to be approved, surveillance began. Six months had elapsed since the tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children had been received.
The task force found plenty of evidence in the man’s home and on his devices. They arrested the retired principal for possession of child pornography with minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
One year after the FBI received the first tip, the 75-year-old retired school principal pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography, which included images of boys under age 12.
The court sentenced him to more than six years in federal prison.
Criminals like the man, in this case, may never be caught if it weren’t for the diligent investigators with the Crimes Against Children Squad of the FBI, Project Safe Childhood, and all contributing agencies.
What are your thoughts about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about true-crime and books.
Do you know of a crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.
Thanks for reading! Stay safe.
Source: U.S.A v. [retired school principal] – U.S. District Court, U.S. Department of Justice
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