Crime

Longtime Customs and Border Protection employee facing child pornography charges

A Florida man employed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection for 15 years has been charged with receiving and possessing child pornography.

The path to Boynton Beach's Richard Russo, 54, as described in the criminal complaint, started with the Broward Sheriff's Office.

On March 14, BSO searched the house of a man referred to in the complaint as "RS." In going through RS's electronic devices, BSO investigators found a WhatsApp running conversation from Dec. 5, 2017, through Feb. 28 with a "Ritchie." Among the topics covered: sex with dogs and "young."

The complaint says RS sent Ritchie at least three photos and 10 videos of child pornography on Dec. 5, including files showing a man having anal sex with an 8-to-10-year-old boy and a man receiving oral sex from a preteen boy. The videos RS sent Ritchie on Jan. 4 included two videos of a man sexually abusing an infant.

Ritchie sent RS a photo on Jan. 5 that he said was himself.

The WhatsApp phone number used by Ritchie traced back to a "Richard Russo," the complaint states. The FBI agent investigating compared the photo Ritchie sent to Richard Russo's driver's license picture.

"Additional investigation revealed that RUSSO is currently employed by Customs and Border Protection as a Paralegal Specialist in the Fines, Penalties and Forfeiture Division and has been so employed since 2003," the complaint stated.

Russo's currently being held without bond. He faces five to 20 years in federal prison if convicted.

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