Citrus County Commissioner Ron Kitchen wonders if a local newspaper considered fact-checking before writing a story and editorial about the number of riders who were allegedly barred from using the Citrus County Transit bus system. (January 7, 2020)
Following a cyber tip received on July 7 from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) arrested an Inverness man after discovering child pornography on his computer.
After an extensive investigation, deputies arrested Joshua J. Faciane, 40, who was subsequently charged with 50 counts of possession of child pornography.
The tip was generated by a major web services company and included numerous images of child pornography associated with one of their subscribers, the Sheriff’s Office said. Sergeant Stephen Conley and Detectives Tiffany Barry and Chris Cornell were able to confirm that the images were, in fact, child pornography. The cybertip was assigned to the CCSO’s High Tech Crimes Unit to investigate.
With established probable cause, a search warrant was executed on July 12 at the Faciane’s residence at 5554 South Barco Terrace in Inverness. Detectives seized numerous digital media and storage devices for further examination.
Upon further investigation, pictures of a young female, fully clothed, were discovered. Due to the content and location of these pictures, detectives became concerned for her safety, the Sheriff’s Office said. Immediately working to identify and potentially remove the young female from a dangerous situation, detectives interviewed her at Jessie’s Place (a children’s advocacy center) in Lecanto. She did not disclose any information that made detectives believe she was a victim of any physical or sexual abuse, the CCSO said. She is now at a safe location and protected from any potential harm.
During the forensic examination of the devices seized during the search warrant, Detective Cornell was able to clearly identify approximately 3,000 pictures and multi-media files depicting child pornography. With the assistance of the State Attorney’s Office, an arrest warrant was obtained for Faciane.
On Sept. 18, Faciane was arrested at Ocala Regional Hospital and transported to the Marion County Jail, where his bond was set at $100,000. CCSO’s Special Victims Unit detectives and members of the United States Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force were on scene with the Ocala Police Department during the arrest.
“The most heinous crime is where criminals prey on innocent children,” said Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast. “Detectives in cases such as these have to view and analyze the images and videos of young children being exploited; it’s upsetting. We appreciate our High Tech Crimes Unit detectives’ commitment in identifying potential victims and arresting the people that commit these repulsive crimes.”
The CCSO said that if you are a victim, or know of a victim in this case, call office at 352-726-1121 to make a report.