Jacksonville Beach photographer, already in jail, receives additional charges
Currently jailed Jacksonville Beach photographer Mario Peralta was just given “add-ons” in jail speak. Add-ons are additional charges placed on a defendant already in custody on other charges. These are additional charges resulting from two search warrants generated following his initial arrest. Peralta was initially arrested back in May, 2015, per the police report, after the father of a young female client of his photography and video studio discovered a tiny camera planted in a digital clock. The clock was in the changing room. The police report states the father removed the SD card from the clock, put it in his pocket and later reviewed the contents of the SD card once he got home to his own computer. The report states that the father notified law enforcement after seeing the video images of naked young girls stored on the SM card. Mr. Peralta has retained legal counsel and is presumed innocent until he either enters a plea or the state attorney proves the case beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
Search warrants, arrest warrants
As is very common in cases containing digital storage and digital history, once a defendant is in custody, law enforcement wants to examine any cell phones, tablets, laptops and work and home personal computers attributed to the recently arrested suspect. Law Enforcement today is extremely tech savvy. If a small police agency does not have the expertise or equipment to forensically examine digitally stored evidence, frequently a larger neighboring department or federal agency is called in. Here, this investigation was conducted by the Jacksonville Beach Police Department. From the reports listed in public records, it appears that the detectives at Jacksonville Beach requested two separate search warrants. One search warrant was for the suspect’s home. This resulted in law enforcement carrying off several thumbdrives, hard drives, external hard drives and two computer “towers.” The second search warrant obtained by Jacksonville Beach Police was sought and granted giving them the authority to forensically examine the contents of the items seized. The reports state that the forensic examination was conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s computer forensic investigation lab. While this defendant sat in jail on his initial charges, Homeland Security, based upon a judge signing the second search warrant, examined the contents of the items taken in the first warrant. Records show that the report from the federal analysts was issued to Jacksonville Beach Police in early November, 2015. Once local law enforcement saw that they could charge this defendant with more crimes, arrest warrants were sought by the police. It appears that from the reports two arrest warrants were generated and although the defendant was already in jail, he was arrested on new charges, once the warrants were served on him. Locally a defendant receives an “add-on” by simply being taken from his cell down to classifications, being advised of the new charges and being fingerprinted on the new charges. Serving an arrest warrant on a defendant already in jail is more akin to an administrative procedure as opposed to an arrest in the field.