The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office on Friday (Jan. 29) arrested Edgar Leon Alloway Jr., a 77-year-old resident of 18 Banton Lane in Palm Coast, faces 12 third-degree felony counts of possession of images of sexual abuse. Because some of the alleged images portray acts of violence, some of the charges may be upgraded to second-degree felonies.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reported so-called CyberTips to AOL, which then referred the tips to the Sheriff’s Office in early September, after the center detected the uploading of some 20 pictures “which appeared to contain suspected Child Pornography,” according to Alloway’s arrest affidavit.
Det. Dennis Lashbrook, the detective in charge of the sheriff’s cybercrime unit established two years ago, used various investigative techniques and subpoenas and a search warrant to AOL, T-Mobile, Charter Communications and Oath Inc., a division of Verizon, to trace the ownership of the account alleged to have uploaded the materials. The tracing and the IP address went back to Alloway and his home in Palm Coast. He had allegedly uploaded images to his email account,
Lashbrook, other members of the sheriff’s office and the Volusia County Sheriff’s Child Exploitation Unit, served a search warrant at Alloway’s home on Nov. 20. Four individuals were at the house. Alloway would eventually tell law enforcement no one but him was involved regarding the images. All 12 images of abuse entail prepubescent children, some as young as 4, being abused by adults.
When Lashbrook interviewed Alloway–who is known as “Bud”–at his home after he was read his Miranda rights, and in the presence of other law enforcement officers, Alloway waived his rights and agreed to speak. He said he “does not solicit images but does look at them.” He said he had about 25 to 30 images on an old phone, but that he’d stopped downloading images after doing so for about a year. He stopped when his account was shut down.
He had also taken the picture of four young children–two boys, two girls, clothed–outside the Funky Pelican, the restaurant in Flagler Beach. He told detectives that he had just met the family, which was visiting from New York, and that family members had asked him to take the picture and send it to them. But he could not locate their email address when detectives asked for it.
“Detective Lashbrook of our Cybercrimes Unit did a great job in building a strong case,” Sheriff Rick Staly said.
After he was arrested, Alloway complained of shortness of breath and high blood pressure and was taken to AdventHealth Palm Coast. While there, he complained of lightheadedness and chest pains. Hospital personnel cleared him. He was then taken to the county jail where he was booked on $120,000 bond. He posted bail on Saturday and was released.