On February 18, 2019, detectives with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children Unit received two cyber-tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, about the possible possession of child pornography by an individual.
The cyber-tips were in reference to a home located at 1804 Valley Forge Drive in St. Cloud. On Tuesday February 26th a search warrant was executed on the home and numerous electronics were seized. The devices were found to have numerous files of child pornography on them. Detectives arrested Albert Vernon Kraus Jr. and charged him with 10 counts of Possession of Photo of Sexual Performance of a Child.
St. Cloud police said Kraus retired from the St. Cloud Police Department on July 31, 2014 and later became a reserve police officer. Kraus provided limited services during his time as a reserve police officer, police said.
“We take these allegations seriously, and I’m disgusted by them,” St. Cloud police Chief Pete Gauntlett said. “Incidents like these violate the trust and bond this department has built with our community. The St. Cloud Police Department has a strong working relationship with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, and actively participates in its Internet Crimes Against Children task force.
St. Cloud police reported that Kraus was a reserve officer at St. Cloud Middle School from 2007-2014, and as a reserve police officer, he filled in where necessary as a backup school resource officer.
At this point in the investigation no actual live victims have been found, and this is an ongoing investigation.
Please contact the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office if you have any information concerning this case or any similar cases at (407) 348-2222 or through Crimeline at 1-800-423-8477, where information leading to a felony arrest may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 dollars. https://crimeline.org/