Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Elderly Man Arrested for Child Pornography Found in Self Storage Unit

2014 has started out with continuous stories of innocuous items found in self storage units. Last week, we examined the former Storage Wars star who found ashes in his self storage unit and now there is an equally strange case. An elderly man in Orlando was arrested recently as a decade-old incident caught up with him – child pornography was found in his self storage unit.

Fleetwood D. Peeples Jr. fell at an Uncle Bob’s Self Storage near Mercy Drive in Orlando, the police were called to assist and then the chilling discovery was made. While police assisted Peeples, evidence of child pornography was discovered and a search warrant was obtained to search for more.

The 76-year old man was then charged with multiple counts of possession and promotion of child pornography. The children in the explicit photographs appeared to be around 5 – 12 years old. Based on the age of the photographs found, police estimate that the children who appeared in them could be anywhere between 30 – 50 years old today.

Further implicated in this case is the Boy Scouts of America as Peeples admitted that that he had molested the scouts during camp-outs, along with other children in his neighborhood, when he was a Scouting leader from 1980 – 1982. A representative from the Boy Scouts of America stated that the organization is prepared to full cooperate with police during the investigation.

Peeples, who resides in Casselberry, first aroused suspicion when he was more concerned about the camera he thought he left behind in the storage unit than his injuries. He was also instructing paramedics to keep the key to the unit away from his wife, who was unaware that he had rented a storage unit so far from their home. He later admitted to police that he has been taking digital pictures of his photo album in the self storage unit when he fell.

Peeples’ will likely not be charged for the molestation since the abuse happened so long ago and the statute of limitations has run out. Police plan on pursuing the possession and promotion of child pornography charges against him. He is being help on $12, 500 bail and will is likely to spend the rest of his life in jail if convicted. Defense attorney Richard Hornsby said Peeples’ lawyer will likely try to get the evidence found in the self storage unit thrown out since it was searched at first without a search warrant and only a signed consent from Peeples.

The alarming number of illegal activity that is often uncovered in self storage units is a growing cause for concern. The proposed law to give police access to self storage facilities’ tenant information could potentially put lessen the incidence of illegal activity by increasing the accountability of self storage renters. If tenants know that law enforcement is likely to peruse these records, they may think twice before engaging in illicit activity in their units.


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