Man Arrested in Oldsmar for Production and Distribution of Child Pornography

On September 26, 2023, a 39-year-old man residing at 301 Park Boulevard in Oldsmar was arrested and booked into the Pinellas County Jail on charges of producing and distributing child pornography. The US Marshal Service made the arrest following an investigation conducted by the United States Department of Homeland Security.

The investigation revealed that Justin Ryan Culmo was involved in an online community on the “dark web,” where individuals regularly produced, distributed, and received child sexual abuse material. The dark web is a part of the internet that requires specific software and configurations and is known for illegal activities such as hacking, illegal pornography, and fraud.

During the investigation, two main websites were examined, one of which was seized by a foreign law enforcement agency in October 2015, and the second site was seized in September 2017. In July 2023, the Tampa office of Homeland Security was notified that facial recognition technology linked some of the material to the screennames ‘Avalanche’ and ‘TheRealAvalanche.’

Additional allegations of child sexual abuse against Culmo were reported by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, including incidents in 2014 and 2019. The investigation also uncovered highly graphic descriptions of Culmo’s actions in posts obtained from the websites, where he provided guidance on evading police tactics and discussed the use of spycams and data encryption.

In July 2017, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office became involved after an incident involving Culmo’s former employer. Culmo was required to surrender an SD card owned by the company, which was later found to contain a folder named “Jersey Ave” with 1,155 photographs of young girls coming and going from Mann Middle School in Brandon, Florida. Culmo lived across the street from the school when the photos were taken.

Culmo admitted to using the screennames and producing the child abuse series of photos. Agents found 11 pairs of female child underwear and five spy cameras in a locked drawer during the raid. Culmo, a resident of Oldsmar for approximately 14 years, holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from UCF and works as a Plant engineer at an automotive, aerospace, and medical parts manufacturer in Pinellas County.

Culmo had previously expressed opposition to a vote by the Oldsmar City Council in 2022 that allowed developers to build a large apartment complex next to city hall. He is currently held without bond in the Pinellas County Jail, and the investigation is ongoing, with the possibility of additional victims.

Author: CrimeDoor

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