News from BSO

COMPUTER PORNOGRAPHY ARREST

Updated: 7/26/01 12:57:10 PM
BSO Case Number: 01-97056
PIO Number: 01-7-51
Date: July 26, 2001
Time: 10 a.m.
Place of Occurrence: 5975 N. Federal Hwy., Ft. Lauderdale

Victim(s):

  • State of Florida

Suspect(s):

  • Anthony J. Gentile, 54, 5/4/47, male, 8340 Black Olice Dr., Tamarac

Description of Incident:

A 54-year old Tamarac man was arrested today on computer child pornography charges by investigators with the LEACH (Law Enforcement Against Child Harm) task force.

The investigation involving Anthony Gentile started last month. Using his computer, Gentile transmitted pornographic images to an undercover FBI agent in Birmingham, Alabama. That agent contact LEACH here in Broward County. A Fort Lauderdale Police detective, assigned to LEACH, made on-line contact with Gentile, who used the screen name TJGENT234. The detective, posing as a 14-year-old girl, corresponded with Gentile 10 times, discussing sexual relations and sex acts during each computer conversation. On four occasions, Gentile transmitted pornographic images, including a photo of a girl, less than 18 years old, having intercourse.

On Tuesday, July 24th, the undercover detective – still posing as a 14 year old girl -- discussed sexual relations and agreed to a personal meeting with Gentile. The meeting was arranged for 10 a.m. today (Thursday) in the Circle K store parking lot at 5975 North Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale. When Gentile arrived at that location he was immediately taken into custody. Following his arrest, detectives executed a search warrant at Gentile’s workplace, the Broward Teachers Union headquarters at 6000 North University Drive in Tamarac. Gentile’s office computer equipment, which he used during the illicit communiqués, was seized as evidence.

Gentile declined to give a statement to detectives and was booked at the Broward County Jail, charged with Sexual Performance by a Child, Computer Pornography, and Transmission of Harmful Material to a Minor. If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and a $35,000 fine.

INVESTIGATORS: Lt. P. O'Connell; Jim Leljedal / PIO

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