In an exclusive interview with Your Content, convicted sex offenders revealed they were instructed to reside in a makeshift campsite, hidden in a lot owned by the Florida Department of Transportation. The campsite is situated nearby Morgan Fitzgerald Middle School and Pinellas Park High School. This arrangement potentially allows sexual predators to bypass mandatory laws designed to protect communities, as they lack a legal address.
Compounding the issue, the Florida Sexual Offender and Predator registry showcases tent icons on their map, revealing they are aware of the unreliable living conditions of the offenders they’re supposedly monitoring, some of whom bore ankle monitors which they charged with power strips linked to a generator.
Your Content recently visited this suspected ‘sex offender camp’, located on a lot at the intersection of Bryan Dairy Road and U.S. Highway 19 on Frontage Road in Pinellas County. Several sex offenders, placed there by state and local parole officials following their release from prison, shared their experiences.
“Probation put us here,” Brian A. Starmer, a confirmed sex offender, told Your Content during a video interview at the camp. “They look for anywhere to put us. We tried for a motel or halfway house, but we were denied. There’s no place to put us. Even a trailer somewhere, you know, with roommates, anything.”
Starmer was convicted of charges relating to sexual battery against a child under the age of 12 and lewd or lascivious molestation.
When asked about the number of sex offenders living on the government-owned land, another offender estimated that at least a dozen individuals were on site.
“There’s at least a dozen of us here,” the second offender said. “The Department of Corrections are the ones who sent us here. They gave us an address to come, and it was here.”
In what could be a scene from the movie Lord of the Flies, the camp—made up of makeshift cabinets—showcases water jugs, metal wagons, several clearance tents, detergents, cleaning supplies, bicycles, ladders, coolers, ancient wooden stools, and animal traps.
One offender, who pitched his tent on Jul. 2, explained that he was bussed to the site after being released from prison. He was advised to speak with a man located in a ‘blue dumpster’ at a nearby construction site.
“When I got out of prison, I was bused to Tampa, had to sleep in the parking lot in Tampa for my next bus to bring me to St. Pete. When I got off the bus to St. Pete, my probation officer gave me this address, told me there’s a construction site with a blue dumpster and to ‘go see the man in there and they’ll help you out.”
“We are surviving. We exist, but we aren’t living. We are surviving,” he added. The offenders routinely shop for cookware, condiments, food, and utensils to use in the wilderness while under parole supervision. “We need a frying pan; we go get a frying pan. We need silverware. We go get silverware. We need ice. We go get ice. We need water. We go get fresh water.”
The offenders disclosed that parole department officials routinely visit the camp to check on them. They noted that agents have visited the camp on several occasions to revoke the parole of a parolee, meaning to return them to prison.
“When I got off the bus to St. Pete, my probation officer gave me this address, told me there’s a construction site with a blue dumpster and to ‘go see the man in there and they’ll help you out.”Brian A. Starmer, a confirmed sex offender, told Your Content.
“Parole comes back and checks on us, peek through our stuff, make sure we’re not doing anything illegal. Most of the time nobody is doing anything illegal back here. We’re just trying to survive.”
“When I was released, I had several opportunities in other counties I could have gone to, and the probation officer kept denying them. I had facilities in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Winter Haven, and even Lake Wales. Every time I got in touch with them, parole denied it. They told me I had to do my time here in the North at this camp.”
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Sexual Offenders and Predators Search, several vicious child predators are housed in tents seemingly located on highway off-ramps or in the middle of major intersections. However, the registry does not provide a legal address for these convicted sex offenders.
When approached for comment by Your Content, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office referred our inquiry to the Florida Department of Corrections, who refused to comment on the campsite.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement declined to comment on the issue of the sex offender registry indicating tents on highway off-ramps as residences.
The Florida Department of Transportation declined to comment when approached by Your Content in regard to the land owned by their agency.
Members of the Pinellas County Board of Commissioners did not respond to immediate requests for comment when approached by Your Content.
“Our laws regarding sex offenders — how they should be confined, what constitutes treatment, and where they can live — border on the medieval.” Connecticut-based criminal defense attorney Norm Pattis told Your Content. We’ve normalized inhumane treatment and the courts have refused to recognize this.”
Below is a list of the sex offenders reportedly residing at the campsite, along with their respective charges:
James Robert Moulton: Born July 20, 1970. Convicted of charges relating to sexual battery, forcefully holding a victim against their will, and lewd or lascivious conduct with a victim under the age of 16. Released from prison and placed at the makeshift camp after a ten-year imprisonment.
Roderic David Larocque: Born June 13, 1968. Convicted in 2016 of charges relating to possession of child pornography and failure to comply with sex offender registration. He is a repeat offender, with similar charges lodged against him in 1997.
Reginald Lee Farrior: Born October 13, 1972. Convicted in 1996 of charges relating to lewd or lascivious acts against a child.
William Charles Devlin Jr.: Born June 8, 1964. Convicted in 2017 of charges relating to traveling to meet a minor to commit an unlawful sexual offense.
Timothy Lee Pruitt: Born July 16, 1956. Convicted in 2002 for charges relating to sexual battery and coercing a child. In 2012 he was charged for failing to comply with the sex offender registry.
Thomas Downs: Convicted in 1996 for kidnapping and sexual battery. He was placed at the campsite after his decade-plus incarceration.
Brian A. Starmer: Born July 23, 1966. Convicted of sexual battery and lewd or lascivious molestation of a victim under the age of 12.
Chad Allen Whitehead: Born October 5, 1993. Convicted in 2022 of lewd or lascivious conduct towards a minor under the age of 16.
Terry Allen Kovel: Born March 1, 1968. Convicted of multiple counts of sexual battery against a minor under the age of 12, and lewd or lascivious child acts.
Daniel Todd Brosen: Born January 8, 1969. Convicted of sexual acts involving a child in 2001 and 2013.
Bobby Gene Tanner Jr.: Born June 2, 1977. Convicted of several child sex crimes throughout a near 30-year span. In December 1998, Tanner was convicted of lewd and sexual battery against a minor under the age of 16. In June of that same year, Tanner was convicted of a similar charge. In December 2004, 2011, and 2016, Tanner was convicted for failing to register as a sex offender.
George Frank Lecroy: Born March 12, 1978. Convicted in 2005 of sexual battery against a victim under the age of 12.
Robert Marrero: Born July 26, 1970. Convicted in 2001 of sexual battery against a victim under the age of 12.
Bernard James Kuruc: Born August 10, 1955. Convicted in 2003 of lewd or lascivious molestation of a child under the age of 12.
John Caviglia III: Born April 23, 1963. Convicted of multiple sex crimes against teenage victims since the early ‘90s. In 1993, Caviglia was convicted of committing lewd acts against a child. In 1997, Caviglia was convicted of two separate cases of similar charges.
Ronald Guy Baskin: Born December 27, 1961. Convicted of lascivious molestation against a child aged 12-15 years old and sexual battery against a child.
William Lee Dugan: Born November 26, 1956. Convicted of sexual battery against a child in 2000.
Anatoliy Nikolayevic Gushchin: Born December 29, 1962. Convicted of multiple counts of sexual battery against a child in 2004.
Darryl D. Grant: Born October 4, 1964. Convicted of multiple counts of sexual battery against a minor victim under the age of 12 in 2001 and 2008.
John Robert Anderson: Born November 6, 1958. Convicted of 5 counts of lewd or lascivious acts and sexual battery against a child.
Michael Anthony Roderick: Born November 21, 1963. Convicted of sexual battery against a child, and charges relating to possession and production of child pornography in 2009.
James G. Vice: Born November 19, 1944. Convicted of sexual battery against a child under the age of 12 in 2012.
Kenneth L. Miller: Born January 19, 1989. Convicted of lewd or lascivious molestation of a victim under the age of 12 in 2013.
James Derrick Dunnie Johnson: Born July 15, 1983. Convicted of sexual battery and drugging a woman in 2015.
William Robert Dwyane Geisler: Born December 16, 1961. A New Jersey-based sex offender who was transferred to Florida for unknown reasons, listed the campsite as his address until he was rearrested, according to the Florida sex offender registry.
Andrew Mitchell Hernandez: Born November 10, 1987. Convicted of sexual battery against a child in 2021.