PALM COAST, FL – The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) Cyber Crimes Unit began investigating a CyberTip from Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) on November 12, 2020. The tip identified an Instagram account that contained at least two files depicting child pornography. The investigation revealed the account belonged to 24-year-old Elijah Deshawn Hudson.
A lengthy investigation led to a search warrant being executed on December 29, 2020, at 16 Poinbury Drive in Palm Coast, Hudson’s residence, by FCSO’s Cyber Crimes Detectives, FCSO Major Case Detectives, members from Volusia County Sheriff’s Office (VCSO), and tactical members of the FCSO SWAT team.
Several electronic devices were seized during the search and a forensic analysis of the devices was conducted. The results of the analysis found numerous images and videos of child pornography. Due to the nature of images recovered, the charge was reclassified from a third degree felony to a second degree felony under Florida State Statute 775.0847.
On February 16, 2021, an arrest warrant was signed for Elijah Deshawn Hudson for 15 counts of possession of images of the sexual performance by a child and two counts of transmission of child pornography. Hudson turned himself in at the Kim C Hammond Justice Center on February 17th and was taken into custody. He was booked into the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility where he is being held on a $255,000 bond.
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“Our Cybercrimes Unit has been doing a great job in taking these tips and building strong cases,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “Let this be a reminder to perverts that we will not tolerate this behavior in Flagler County and we have the resources and mutual aid at our disposal to thoroughly investigate each case and arrest these sex offenders that prey on children.”
In 2018 under the direction of Sheriff Staly, the FCSO began participating with the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. The ICAC Task Force consists of state and local law enforcement who are dedicated to developing effective responses to the online enticement of children by sexual predators, child exploitation, and child obscenity and pornography cases. In late 2019, Sheriff Staly implemented a full-time Cybercrimes/ICAC Unit.