A Plantation man has been indicted on child pornography charges after over 95 child porn videos were found on his laptop at the music school where he claimed to have worked in Broward County, authorities said Wednesday.
Daniel Jonathan Gast, 28, faces one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography, officials said. U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer, Davie Police Chief Patrick Lynn and Alysa D. Erichs, the Miami special agent in charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, announced the charges in a news release.
Gast, who was arrested Feb. 19, is in custody at the Broward County Main Jail on a hold by the U.S. Marshals Service, online jail records showed. It was not immediately known whether he has an attorney.
A South Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force investigation into the advertisement of suspected child pornography over public peer-to-peer networks revealed an IP address registered to Gast at his Plantation home, authorities said.
On Jan. 17, using a search warrant in hand, agents went in the home as some neighbors watched.
"They were just taking out a lot of computers, that's what my mom said," Esteban Garcia said. "So, that's why she thought it was something to do, possibly, with child pornography."
From Gast's roommate, agents learned they only found three of four computers in the apartment, none of which had child pornography.
Through questioning, investigators learned Gast left a fourth computer at ProMusic Plus in Weston, where he told agents he was a teacher. A search there found the porn files on Gast's laptop, authorities said.
Much of the child pornography involved children under the age of 12, according to authorities.
Staff at ProMusic Plus provided NBC 6 on Wednesday with a statement from the school's owner, Elizabeth Ritter.
"Contrary to what Mr. Gast is saying, he was never employed here," Ritter said in the statement. "However, on Thursday, January 16, 2014, Mr. Gast borrowed one of my rooms for a lesson. And, at the conclusion of the lesson, unbeknownst to me, left his laptop computer in the lesson room. We are as shocked about these allegations as everyone else."
Authorities said that anyone with questions or concerns should call Davie Police Det. Adam Granit at 954-693-8365.