Ocala, Florida: On Monday, February 27, 2023, the Marion County Sheriff's Office announced the arrest of 72-year-old Paul Stephen Zittel on 25 counts of possession of child pornography following an investigation that began in January.
According to the press release posted to Facebook, the Sheriff's Department stated that Detective Chase King received a tip concerning multiple files believed to depict child pornography that had been uploaded to the internet.
Tracing the IP address that was associated with those uploads led them to Zittel.
On Thursday, February 23, a search warrant was served at Zittel's residence. During the service of that warrant, officers reported that other residents of the home stated Zittel would not allow anyone else into his bedroom or office without personal escort.
"During the search, detectives located countless printed photographs of pornography, many of which depicted CSAM (child sexual abuse material). The prints had been arranged into large stacks and boxes throughout Zittel's bedroom and office, and a printer on his desk displayed obvious signs of heavy use. Detectives sized the printed materials, and computer, and a digital storage device and removed them from the home.
Detectives estimated there to be more than 220,000 printed images in Zittel's possession, which together weighed approximately 2,600 pounds."
Zittel remains in the Marion County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bond. According to jail records, his next court date is listed as March 28, 2023.