Franklin County man arrested on federal child porn charges

By: 
Linda Trest

Daniel Avetta, 27, of Catawissa was arrested on a federal indictment last Friday, Nov. 17. He was arrested for four counts of child pornography, six counts of receipt of child pornography and two counts of enticement of a minor. 

Franklin County Sheriff Steve Pelton released details of the case Nov. 20. Pelton says an extensive investigation was launched in March that culminated with last week’s arrest. Avetta is believed to have used a fake profile with the name Jessica Gable on social media for the sole purpose of meeting his victims. 

On the Sheriff’s department Facebook page, a concerned parent asked which social media Avetta was using. They wanted to check their child’s devices to see if any contact had been make with Avetta/Gable. The Sheriff’s office replied tat Avetta had used Facebook.

According to Pelton, Avetta would “engage in conversation with the victims and solicit them for nude photographs.”

Investigators discovered several victims in Franklin, Gasconade, Maries, Jefferson, St. François, Iron and Washington counties who had contact with the suspect through this fake account/profile. 

“If any parent(s) believe their child have been in contact with this profile, please contact the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and file a report.” 

On Avetta’s own Facebook page he shows that he lives in Cuba and lists his hometown as Hisllsboro. He says that he went to school at both Hillsboro and Owensville high schools. He lists both McDonald’s and Taco Bell as former employers. 

The Missouri Courts website, Casenet has only one entry for Avetta. That case filed on Aug. 2, was for a adult abuse stalking. An order of protection was granted for unnamed person who sought the order. Avetta’s address at that time was also listed as Catawissa.

Gerald police say that so far, none of Avetta’s victims have been from the Gerald area.

This case is being investigated by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

Pelton says would also like to thank the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, the Cuba Police Department and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force for their assistance on the case.

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