Brandon day care worker arrested on child porn charges

A Riverview man has been arrested on child pornography and transmission of child pornography charges, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. 

Justin Dwayne Cross, 25, was arrested on Tuesday, April 18 at his home in Riverview. 

Cross is charged with 20 counts of possession of child pornography and two counts of transmission of child pornography. 

Agents originally received tips that Cross was distributing images depicting child pornography. During the investigation, Cross reportedly shared images of child porn in chat rooms  and through different websites between September 2016 and January 2017.

Cross worked at Childcare of Brandon located at 730 Brandon Town Center Drive. He was previously employed by La Petite Academy at 10025 Christina Drive. Investigators say there is no evidence that Cross touched children himself.

"The screening process is pretty rigorous to work in a childcare facility so it's absolutely a shock." Kharey Wisdom, owner of Childcare of Brandon, said.

He said Cross worked in the after school care with older children. He says he was always working with 3 other adults and nearly the entire facility is covered by 40-plus surveillance cameras.

"We want parents to know that their children are safe here. Which is why we have cameras inside and out. It's why we have nanny cam systems. It's why we have all this technology, to ensure that we can be held accountable, our teachers are held accountable, and your children are indeed safe." Wisdom said.

La Petite Academy released the following statement on the incident:

"For us as childcare advocates, this was disturbing to hear.   We have not been made aware of any charges related to activities involving our students or school.  We will cooperate with the authorities in any way we can, as needed, to assist in the investigation.
Our focus remains on providing a safe and nurturing learning environment for the children in our care. Nothing is more important than their safety and wellbeing."

 If you had any interaction with Justin Cross and have additional information, please call FDLE at 813-878-7300.

Cross was transported to the Hillsborough County jail. He will be prosecuted by the Office of Statewide Prosecution.

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