Broward County

What happened to the Broward men arrested in child pornography cases last summer

Michael Thomas Swayze, held without bond in Broward County Jail after police say he confessed to years of sexually abusing a minor.
Michael Thomas Swayze, held without bond in Broward County Jail after police say he confessed to years of sexually abusing a minor.

From the four well-publicized summer arrests in Broward County involving child pornography, one man sits in state prison, one man sits in county jail with his mail and phone privileges cut off, one man’s about to be sentenced to federal prison and the fourth is out on house arrest, although he visited relatives at Thanksgiving.

A tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that someone was transmitting child pornography pictures from spots around town led police to Sean Grealy of Wilton Manors. When Fort Lauderdale police arrested Grealy in June, they said they found 20 images of child pornography on his laptop and cellphone.

Grealy pleaded no contest to 10 counts of possession of child pornography and one count of collecting child pornography on a computer. His four-year prison sentence began in September. Upon release, he’ll be on probation until July 17, 2028.

Margate police say when they tracked child pornography to Michael Thomas Swayze’s computer, he confessed verbally and in writing to sexually molesting a girl for three to four years. Though Swayze is held without bond, letters from Broward’s Paul Rein Detention Facility to the girl’s mother with messages for the girl count as violation of bond. Swayze can now phone only his mother or his public defender and mail only his public defender.

Two of the cases began with tips from Twitter to the NCMEC that an account posted child pornography on the social media site. The first led to 31 counts of state charges against Southwest Ranches’ Bruce Muehlfelder for alleged child pornography possession — to which Muehlfelder pleaded not guilty. He took a plea deal, however, when the charges turned into one count of distribution of child pornography in federal court. He’s awaiting sentencing on a charge that carries a minimum five-year prison sentence with five years of supervised release.

Hollywood police say Twitter posts and the ensuing tips to NCMEC put them onto Hollywood’s David Pulju. After Pulju pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of child pornography possession and posted $120,000 bond, he was put on electronic house arrest.

In early November, the court granted his request to travel to Titusville to spend Thanksgiving with his sister. Two weeks later, the court granted his request to be allowed to use a computer with internet access for work purposes only.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal