Florida Officer Bought Child Porn on the Internet, Arrested by FBI

Boynton Beach Police Department Officer Gabriel Albala, 45, was arrested on August 29 by the FBI on a federal charge of child pornography. Albala, 45, was being held Friday with no bond in Broward County’s main jail.

Albala has been relieved of duty, WPTV News reports.

Albala is accused of buying child pornography using the blogging website Tumblr and keeping it on his home computer, according to the federal complaint against him.

Federal agents became aware of his alleged involvement through an ongoing investigation started in August 2018 that led to an Alabama man, David A. Drake, pleading guilty to a five-count federal indictment for the advertisement, sale and possession of child pornography.

Albala is accused of buying the child porn from Drake.

As part of his plea bargain, Drake gave agents information about the porn sales that eventually lead them to Albala.

Drake told agents he used his Tumblr page to direct users to another website, called Wickr, where he sold the child porn for an amount between $10 and $50. Drake later used Venmo, the Cash App, and Amazon for the transactions.

Drake said he instructed users to say the payments were for “tutoring, books, or other college-related expenses” because he was a college student, and he felt this would hide the true nature of the transaction.

According to Venmo records, a user who FBI agents say they later identified as Albala made multiple transactions with Drake in September and October 2018. One was for $30 from an IP address and bank account that agents say they later linked to Albala, describing the transaction with the note “Tutor,” the indictment says.

A $60 transaction was labeled “Tutor class.” A $70 transaction was labeled, “Textbook,” and so on.

FBI agents went to Albala’s home in Margate, Fl in July 2019 and noticed a Boynton Beach Police Department vehicle parked in front of the house, the indictment says. There was no answer, and a neighbor informed agents that Albala was out of town for a funeral.

Agents secured a warrant and searched Albala’s home once he returned in August. That’s when they found his Dell desktop computer that held multiple files of child pornography, the indictment says.

According to the indictment, “there is probable cause to believe that Albala knowingly, willfully, and intentionally possessed” materials that depicted “minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.”

FBI agents interviewed Albala on Thursday morning August 29 and arrested him without incident on Thursday afternoon.

Albala’s next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 4, and his arraignment is set for 11 a.m. Sept. 13.

The FBI says:

“At this time there is no ongoing threat to public safety regarding this arrest. The Boynton Beach Police Department and the FBI continue their investigation.”

The FBI confirmed Albala was in federal custody and facing federal charges but did not give details on the case. Instead PINAC News dug up information on the case.

Boynton Beach Police Chief Michael Gregory said:

“When the trust we have built with our community is threatened, it is paramount that we hold those responsible accountable, and provide the transparency our community deserves. Moving forward, the department will continue to cooperate and assist the FBI as needed.”

Boynton Beach Police Department Officer Gabriel Albala, 45, was arrested on August 29 by the FBI on a federal charge of child pornography. Albala, 45, was being held Friday with no bond in Broward County’s main jail.

Albala has been relieved of duty, WPTV News reports.

Albala is accused of buying child pornography using the blogging website Tumblr and keeping it on his home computer, according to the federal complaint against him.

Federal agents became aware of his alleged involvement through an ongoing investigation started in August 2018 that led to an Alabama man, David A. Drake, pleading guilty to a five-count federal indictment for the advertisement, sale and possession of child pornography.

Albala is accused of buying the child porn from Drake.

As part of his plea bargain, Drake gave agents information about the porn sales that eventually lead them to Albala.

Drake told agents he used his Tumblr page to direct users to another website, called Wickr, where he sold the child porn for an amount between $10 and $50. Drake later used Venmo, the Cash App, and Amazon for the transactions.

Drake said he instructed users to say the payments were for “tutoring, books, or other college-related expenses” because he was a college student, and he felt this would hide the true nature of the transaction.

According to Venmo records, a user who FBI agents say they later identified as Albala made multiple transactions with Drake in September and October 2018. One was for $30 from an IP address and bank account that agents say they later linked to Albala, describing the transaction with the note “Tutor,” the indictment says.

A $60 transaction was labeled “Tutor class.” A $70 transaction was labeled, “Textbook,” and so on.

FBI agents went to Albala’s home in Margate, Fl in July 2019 and noticed a Boynton Beach Police Department vehicle parked in front of the house, the indictment says. There was no answer, and a neighbor informed agents that Albala was out of town for a funeral.

Agents secured a warrant and searched Albala’s home once he returned in August. That’s when they found his Dell desktop computer that held multiple files of child pornography, the indictment says.

According to the indictment, “there is probable cause to believe that Albala knowingly, willfully, and intentionally possessed” materials that depicted “minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.”

FBI agents interviewed Albala on Thursday morning August 29 and arrested him without incident on Thursday afternoon.

Albala’s next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 4, and his arraignment is set for 11 a.m. Sept. 13.

The FBI says:

“At this time there is no ongoing threat to public safety regarding this arrest. The Boynton Beach Police Department and the FBI continue their investigation.”

The FBI confirmed Albala was in federal custody and facing federal charges but did not give details on the case. Instead PINAC News dug up information on the case.

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Boynton Beach Police Chief Michael Gregory said:

“When the trust we have built with our community is threatened, it is paramount that we hold those responsible accountable, and provide the transparency our community deserves. Moving forward, the department will continue to cooperate and assist the FBI as needed.”

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