Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Public safety

New Port Richey man accused of having masses of child porn

NEW PORT RICHEY — Neighbors said Michael Paul Daly and his wife mostly kept to themselves. They described him as a "blimpy" man who could barely walk. On Halloween, he gave out some of the biggest candy bars on the block.

"He was the nicest guy in the world," said Chris McCue, 22, who lives across the street from Daly, 61.

But a loud thud brought McCue to his window Thursday morning as he watched deputies file into his neighbor's home at 7627 Cumber Drive with guns drawn.

Investigators had been looking into Daly's online activity for a month, said sheriff's Detective Zak Arey. The names of the videos they say he was downloading are too vulgar to print, but definitely indicative of child pornography.

Inside the home, authorities found desks piled high with papers, cardboard boxes, computers and monitors. Nests of wires covered the floor. From the mess, Arey said, they pulled 11 hard drives loaded with photos and videos of children, 13-year-olds to infants being sexually abused.

Deputies arrested Daly on 10 counts of possessing child pornography, enough that he will be charged with a second-degree felony. He remained in the Land O'Lakes jail Thursday evening in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Thursday afternoon, after a news conference in front of Daly's home, McCue questioned deputies about his neighbor's bail.

Would he be out soon? McCue hoped not. Knowing the nature of the arrest had changed his view of Daly, the neighbor whose yard he'd mowed once or twice before.

McCue has a 3-year-old son who joins the 20 or so other children on the block to run the street daily. On school mornings, they gather at a bus stop, two houses over from Daly's, he said.

"Don't let him come right back over here."

Contact Alex Orlando at [email protected] or (727) 869-6247.

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