Wednesday, March 19, 2014

FL - Volusia Corrections officer (Mark Pronost) charged with downloading child porn

Protect and serve?
Original Article

03/18/2014

By Saul Saenz

ORANGE CITY - A Volusia County Corrections officer is behind bars, charged with downloading child pornography.

Thirty-two-year-old Mark Pronost did not give himself up right away when Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents went to his home.

That's where an FDLE task force tracked a person downloading child pornography.

Officers had a hard time trying to question him after knocking on his door.

"After the initial contact, he barricaded himself in the room." said FDLE agent Tom Rodriguez.

Pronost's neighbors saw the dozens of law enforcement officers, including helicopters flying over their homes, and were alerted about the standoff.

"The police knocked on the door this morning and just told us either all of us get out or stay in," said Todd James, a homeowner.

After two hours of negotiations, Pronost surrendered peacefully.

Rodriguez said Pronost's children -- ages, 1, 4 and 7 years old -- were inside the house at the time.

Pronost was charged with two counts of possession of child pornography.

Detectives confiscated his computer to see if Pronost downloaded additional child porn.

Rodriguez said they found images of children around 7 years old, the same age as Pronost’s oldest child.

"Ah, it's crazy that it could be just across the street from you, I guess," said James.

A spokesman for the Florida Department of Children and Families said his agency is investigation. The children underwent a medical examination to make sure they are fine.

The children’s mother has custody.

Even though Pronost was arrested in Volusia, he was not transferred to the county jail. Instead, Rodriguez said he was transferred to another facility because Pronost had direct contact with inmates.


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