The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency announce the arrest of Laurence Jay Scott, Sr., 53, of 8690 Cypress Lake Drive, Fort Myers, Fla. Scott is charged with Computer Pornography and Transmission of Material Harmful to A Minor by Electronic Device or Equipment. FDLE and ICE agents arrested Scott at his home on December 20, 2004.
The investigation began in January 2004, when an undercover Albuquerque New Mexico Police Department (ANMPD) officer posing as a 12-year old girl began conversations through Yahoo Instant Messenger with a man named “Larry” from Florida. Using investigative techniques, information revealed that the man the undercover officer was chatting with was believed to be Laurence Jay Scott, Sr. The undercover officer, still posing as a 12 year-old female, also received a telephone call allegedly from Scott in which they talked about sex. In May, a FDLE special agent from the Florida Computer Crime Center using the information from the ANMPD made contact with Scott online. The FDLE special agent was posing as a 14-year-old girl from Tallahassee. During the conversation, Scott allegedly talked about sex and sent a video of sexual nature to the agent using his Webcam. A search warrant was conducted on Scott’s residence by FDLE and ICE special agents in July and several pieces of equipment were taken as evidence.
Scott was booked into the Lee County Jail under a $25,000 bond.
The Florida Computer Crime Center was created by FDLE in October 1998 in response to the increase in the number of criminal investigations that were involving computers. In today’s criminal activity we find two separate worlds of computer crime: first, the traditional world of crime that is now using computers in order to facilitate or help with the crime (child pornography, fraud, banking scams, drugs, and child exploitation). The second involves a whole new realm of crime that law enforcement has never been confronted with, such as hacking, denial of service attacks, virus replication, and network intrusions.
For more information on ways families can protect their children from Internet dangers log onto FDLE’s Florida Computer Crime Center at http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/Fc3/.