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Richard Russo of Boynton Beach, Florida Arrested on Federal Child Porn Charges

U.S. Customs and Border Protection employee Richard Russo of Boynton Beach, Florida has been arrested on federal child pornography charges.

Russo, 54, is charged with receipt and possession of child pornography and is being held without bond in Broward County Jail.

According to the criminal complaint, an investigation was launched after the Center for Missing and Exploited Children received two tips about someone sending suspected child pornography from separate internet service providers in July and November 2017.

Investigators discovered that the tips were connected to the same person. That person, known only by the initials “RS”, was reportedly sending child porn via a messaging app to someone called “Ritchie.”

“RS” was identified as Russell Schroeder of Oakland Park in Broward County. Authorities executed a search of Schroeder’s home in March 2018 and seized several electronic devices that implicated multiple suspects. The devices reportedly contained videos of adult men having sex with boys between 10 months and 15 years of age.

Schroeder was arrested on March 14 and faces 12 child pornography charges. He is also being held without bond, according to jail records.

Investigators learned that “Ritchie” was Russo after they obtained his phone number, which was connected to the messaging app. Additionally, Russo reportedly sent a picture of himself to Schroeder that was matched to his driver’s license.

A review of Schroeder’s computer files revealed that the pair had communicated between December and February 2018 and had shared at least three photos and 10 videos, according to court records. Investigators allege that Russo admitted he was a participant in one of the child porn files he sent to Schroeder.

Russo has worked as a paralegal with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection since 2003. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 14.

Simple possession of child pornography is a third degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison for each count, as well as fines and mandatory registration in the national sex offender registry. Sharing child pornography with another person is a second degree penalty with much harsher penalties. Production of child pornography carries the harshest penalties; it is a first degree felony with up to 30 years in prison for each count.

The Florida legislature has a zero tolerance policy for sex offenses involving minors, and law enforcement agents are required to make sure anyone suspected of or charged with such crimes is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Sex crimes carry life altering consequences, which is why anyone charged with or involved in a sex offense should hire an experienced attorney who can guide them through the criminal justice system and help them reach the best possible outcome.

Child Pornography Attorney

If you are involved in a child pornography case, contact us to set up a free initial consultation and work with one of Florida’s most experienced child pornography attorneys.

Source: 6.6.18 south_florida_paralegal_arrested_on_federal_child_pornography_charges.pdf