Published: Sunday, March 2, 2014 at 6:24 p.m.
A state Department of Children and Families employee was arrested Friday after police said he had an inappropriate relationship with a minor whose case he was working that included drug use.
After more than a month of correspondence through Facebook, Josiah Robinson Winfrey, 28, of 2211 NE 12th Terrace, picked up a 16-year-old girl from Waldo in early September of last year, according to a Gainesville police report.
After stopping at his grandmother’s apartment, where he was residing at the time, the two entered Winfrey’s bedroom where he allegedly handed the girl a bag of marijuana and rolling papers that the girl used to roll a joint, the report said.
The pair then left the apartment and allegedly drove around Gainesville smoking the marijuana.
Winfrey attempted to persuade the teen to stay with him, the report stated, but he took her home after she repeatedly told him that was what she wished.
According to the police report, these details were consistent with Facebook messages that were copied and placed into evidence. These messages allegedly included multiple inappropriate references to drug use and sexual activity to the minor.
On Friday, police went to the home of Winfrey’s grandmother, who said he no longer lived there but did at the time of the incident.
Winfrey met with detectives on Friday and admitted to inappropriate correspondences with the teen through Facebook, the report said. He also reportedly admitted to picking up the girl and taking her to the home, but he denied any drug use.
Winfrey also admitted to deleting his Facebook account after finding out about the investigation because he didn’t want his job to be affected, according to the report.
Winfrey was arrested on charges of official misconduct, delivering drug paraphernalia and a controlled substance to a minor, and destruction of evidence. He was being held Sunday at the Alachua County jail on a $20,000 bond.