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Former St. Cloud police officer arrested for child porn possession

A former St. Cloud reserve police officer was arrested by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday for possession of child pornography.

Deputies arrested and charged Albert Vernon Kraus Jr. with 10 counts of possession of photo of sexual performance of a child.

Kraus retired from the St. Cloud Police Department on July 31, 2014, and then eventually became a reserve police officer, city officials said.

According to a St. Cloud Police Department press release, he is no longer employed with the department.

“We take these allegations seriously, and I’m disgusted by them. Incidents like these violate the trust and bond this department has built with our community,” said St. Cloud Police Chief Pete Gauntlett.

On Feb. 18, Sheriff’s Office detectives with the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit received two cyber-tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children related to the possession of child pornography. The investigation showed that the tips were linked to a Valley Forge Drive home in St. Cloud.

On Feb. 26, a search warrant was executed at the home and numerous electronics were seized. A forensic analysis of the devices seized revealed numerous files of child pornography. As a result of the investigation, detectives arrested Kraus.

 “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 taskforce. I personally would like to thank Sheriff Gibson for his professionalism and assistance in this investigation,” Gauntlett said.

Kraus provided limited services during his time as a reserve police officer, St. Cloud police officials said.

Currently, there are no known live victims, Sheriff’s Office officials stated.

Anyone with information concerning the case is asked to contact the Osceola County Sheriff's Office at 407-348-2222.

This is an ongoing investigation.