Local middle school custodian arrested, accused of soliciting a minor

Published: Jan. 4, 2019 at 2:11 PM EST
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By: WCTV Eyewitness News

January 4, 2019

LIBERTY CO., Fla. (WCTV) -- A custodian at a Liberty County middle school is behind bars, accused of soliciting a minor online.

Following an investigation, agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested 29-year-old John Elias Grande Jr., of Blountstown, on Thursday.

FDLE was first contacted by the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office to investigate Grande after getting a tip that a 14-year-old had possibly received messages from him through a mobile app.

In December, FDLE agents used an undercover identity to communicate with Grande through the app. During that time,FDLE says Grande requested lewd photos of the victim.

It was also revealed that Grande was a custodian at Hosford Elementary and Junior High School.

Grande was arrested for lewd and lascivious conduct and online solicitation of a minor and was booked into the Liberty County Jail.

FDLE says additional charges may be forthcoming, depending on the results of forensic exams.

We reached out to the Liberty County School District for comment but received word that the district is closed through Monday for winter break.

Anyone with information that may be helpful to this case is encouraged to contact Special Agent Clint Beam at (850) 410-7475, or the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Unit at (850) 643-2235.