2018-07-12 / News

Flint owners arrested for alleged role in soliciting nude images

The owners of Flint Audio Video — both Jamestown men — have been charged in connection with a scheme to illegally access and share nude images found on customers’ cell phones and computers.

Gary W. Gagne, 58, of Intrepid Lane, and Daniel A. Anton, 35, of Laurel Lane, were arrested at about 10 a.m. Friday by members of the state police’s computer crimes unit at the Flint Audio Video store in Middletown. Both were charged with soliciting another to commit a crime (access to a computer for fraudulent purposes) and conspiracy, and released on $30,000 personal recognizance bond with a special bail condition of limited Internet use.

Both charges are felonies punishable by up to 10 years in prison each.

Police said Gagne and Anton allegedly conspired with George Quintal, 34, of Middletown, a Flint Audio Video employee arrested June 14 on similar charges. Also arrested in the case were Terrance M. Roy, 46, of Seekonk, Mass., and Geoffrey P. Preuit, 43, of Warwick, both on June 22, and Adam M. Jilling, 35, of West Warwick, on June 28.

The men allegedly searched for and shared the nude images without the victims’ knowledge, police said. They also allegedly took surreptitious photos while they were working of female customers and shared them with Gagne and Anton, police said.

Phone calls to Gagne, Anton and their attorneys seeking comment were not returned.

According to a police affidavit in the case, a female employee filed a complaint May 10 about the illegal searching and sharing of the images. On May 28, she told police she was asked by Anton to check his e-mail and “observed several e-mails sent by Quintal with nude images of customers attached,” the affidavit said. The employee took pictures of the alleged e-mails — dating from Aug. 11, 2015, through July 15, 2016 — and gave them to police.

On June 26, another Flint employee contacted police, saying he was aware of nude photos being accessed unauthorized since 2011 and had told Gagne and Anton that Quintal was doing this, the affidavit said.

Two of the alleged victims told police in order to find the nude images on their computers one would have to search through several folders and numerous photographs.

Police received a search warrant for the company’s e-mail hosting firm, which revealed several e-mails containing images of one of the alleged victims. A search of Quintal’s home turned up a thumb drive with more than 2,000 media files of pictures and videos of suspected Flint customers, the affidavit said.

At the time of Quintal’s arrest, Gagne and Anton released a statement saying: “We are shocked and outraged to learn of the arrest of George Quintal and because of the severity of the charges against him, we have fired him effective immediately. As an audio, visual and computer retailer in Rhode Island for more than 30 years, there is nothing we take more seriously than the privacy and safety of our customers. We are entrusted with their most valuable information, moments and memories, and we work diligently to provide the highest level of security. We understand the gravity of this situation and we are working to prevent this activity from ever happening again. We will assist the Rhode Island State Police in any manner possible to help identify any customers who may have been affected.”

Flint had a location in the South County Commons in Wakefield, but it closed Saturday.

Rhode Island State Police said they still are working to identify other potential victims. Customers who have had their electronic devices serviced by the company are being warned their files might have been compromised. Any concerned customers should contact Detective Adam Houston at 921- 8152.

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