Wakulla County Gets Cyber Crime Unit

By: Jennifer Ryan
By: Jennifer Ryan

They're typing, clicking and surfing away; not exactly the field work you'd expect from officers of the law, but these Wakulla County detectives are specialists.

Their skills: tracking down predators who are hunting down children.

DET Anthony Curles says, "That's where predators are trying to talk to them, coerce them into meeting them."

For DET Anthony Curles, nabbing online predators is personal. As a father of four, he knows the dangers lurking in his family's computer.

"I'm sure it will be a different atmosphere around our house as far as chat rooms."

While Curles is committed to all Internet crimes, his partner John Zarate keys in on child victims.

"From sending child porn to enticing and so fourth," he says.

Together they make up the Cyber Crimes and Internet Crimes Against Children Unit, a first for Wakulla County, with its first arrest this month.

DET John Zarate says, "Had to set up surveillance to the house, couldn't nail down the location where he lived at."

He is 43-year-old George Alan Ickes, a Crawfordville man accused of swapping child pornography online. Detectives found over 18 pornographic images on his home computer, and they fear he's not alone.

"We're seeing a lot just scratching the surface in this county here."

The cyber crimes unit in Wakulla County is part of the Big Bend Cyber Task Force. Detectives receive most of their training in Tallahassee.


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