Two North Florida men arrested for possession and transmitting child sexual abuse material

FDLE announced the arrest of second Orlando neo-Nazi demonstrator.

BRADFORD COUNTY, Fla. — Two North Florida men have been arrested and charged for possessing and transmitting child sexual abuse material (CSAM).


The Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced that retired correction officers Benjamin Gerard Smith, 57, Live Oak, and Donald Howard, 57, Starke, were taken into custody.

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An investigation began when FDLE agents received a cyber tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that pictures showing the sexual abuse of children were being shared electronically. Smith and Howard were identified as the two suspects.

On Tue., June 18, warrants were served separately in Suwannee and Bradford Counties. The Bradford County Sheriff’s Office assisted in serving Howard’s warrant. Electronic devices with multiple files of children being sexually abused were seized at both homes.

Smith was arrested and booked into the Suwanee County Jail and Howard was arrested and booked into the Bradford County Jail.

FDLE said that after retiring from being a corrections officer, Smith was fired from his job at an elementary school after allegations were reported of inappropriate contact with children.

Investigations are being conducted by the FDLE Live Oak and Gainesville field offices.

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