Monday, September 24, 2018
Public safety

Pasco County Schools official arrested on child porn charge

A Pasco County Schools transportation manager was arrested Tuesday on a federal charge of distributing and possessing child pornography, according to court records.

William Napolitano, 34, started his career as a school bus driver in 2004, said district spokeswoman Linda Cobbe. He managed daily operations of school buses, according to the district website. He was placed on administrative leave. The school board could suspend him without pay when it meets next week.

The investigation into Napolitano started, according to a criminal complaint filed by a Department of Homeland Security agent, when agents made an arrest in a similar child pornography case in 2014. The defendant in that case used Kik, an instant messaging app, to share child exploitation materials with potentially 530 unique contacts.

An undercover agent contacted one user from the list named "routemeup" for several months in 2016. In February, the user sent the agent a video depicting child rape, the complaint said. The user stopped messaging after the agent asked to meet up in person.

Federal agents said they found that the user was logging in from homes associated to Napolitano, including his current home. They also found another online account that logged in from his home that admitted to collecting child pornography and having sexual relations with minors.

Agents arrested Napolitano at his home in New Port Richey on Tuesday and came armed with a search warrant. They said they found a laptop that contained at least 40 images and five videos depicting child pornography. Agents said they also learned Napolitano’s roommate had two young twin sons that stayed in their house on weekends.

During the arrest, agents said they found Napolitano on a living room couch with an iPhone shoved under the cushions. He refused to unlock the phone but admitted to going by "routemeup," according to the complaint. His laptop also used the same username.

Napolitano had no discipline issues and no complaints in his personnel file, according to the school district. "Bus drivers loved him," Cobbe said. "He was good at working with parents and resolving problems they had with bus stops."

Federal officials said Napolitano was in custody on Thursday but could not say where.

Contact Neil Bedi at [email protected] or (727) 893-8814. Follow @_neilbedi.

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