A Craig Police Department, Moffat County Sheriff’s Office and FBI joint investigation that began in December 2011 into distribution of child pornography led to the arrest of a 39-year-old Craig resident, police reported Wednesday in a news release.
The suspect, who lives in the 2000 block of Crockett Drive, was arrested on suspicion of sexual exploitation of a child.
The newspaper is withholding the suspect’s name in accordance with a policy not to release the identities of suspected sexual offenders unless convicted.
According to court records, the suspect is charged in Moffat County Court with solicitation to commit aggravated incest, solicitation to commit sexual exploitation of children, and solicitation to commit sexual assault on a child by someone in a position of trust, all Class 4 felonies.
The suspect, originally from Colorado Springs, is in custody at Moffat County Jail, in a section of the jail designated for special offenders. Bail has been set at $100,000.
The suspect appeared in court Jan. 31 for an arraignment, according to court records. He is scheduled for a review hearing at 11 a.m. Feb. 21, also in county court.
He does not have an attorney of record, according to court records.
Court records also indicate the suspect has no criminal history in either Moffat or Routt counties.
The police department reported the suspect was found with “several ‘known images’ of child pornography.”
“’Known images’ are pictures that have been confirmed as child pornography by worldwide investigators and have been electronically marked for identification,” police officials stated in the release.
“Investigators are currently attempting to determine if any local children are involved.”
The investigation is ongoing, police reported, and involves agencies outside of Craig.
Craig Police Det. Jen Kenney is leading the probe.
“With the never ending increase in the use of the Internet for the victimization and exploitation of children through child pornography, the Craig Police Department, Moffat County Sheriff’s Office and state/federal agents will continue to team together to combat these types of crimes in our community,” police reported in the release. “We would all like to believe that this type of crime does not occur in our area, but during the last year law enforcement has investigated several other local Internet exploitation cases.
“These cases primarily involved teenage juveniles sending out naked images of themselves to known/unknown individuals that contacted them on the Internet.”
According to an arrest affidavit written by Kenney, an FBI agent contacted the police department concerning a report of child pornography the agent had received.
The FBI’s involvement stemmed from a report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
The agency noted a graphic image of a girl 3 to 5 years old that was later linked back to the 39-year-old Craig man’s Bresnan account.
Judge Sandra Gardner granted authorities a search warrant for the suspect’s home. The search took place Dec. 28, 2011.
The suspect, his 25-year-old wife, and an area resident were found in the home. A fourth person whose identity was redacted from records was also present at the time of the search.
In the news release, police officials encouraged area residents to closely monitor their children’s Internet usage.
“If parents feel their child may be victim of this type of crime, they are encouraged to contact law enforcement,” police stated in the release.
Commander Bill Leonard, of the Craig Police Department, is listed as the local contact for the case. Leonard can be reached at 826-2367.
Click here to have the print version of the Craig Daily Press delivered to your home.