A local man has been accused of sharing extremely graphic child exploitation material over the internet with an inmate in a Knoxville, Tennessee jail. The 44-year-old from the Kikino Metis Settlement was arrested following an investigation by Alberta’ s ALERT Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit, the United States Homeland Security department, the Knoxville Internet Crimes Against Children Unit and the RCMP.
Detective Ian McFatridge with the Edmonton-based ALERT unit told the POST the two men met online, but it wasn’ t clear if the Kikino man knew the other man was a prisoner.
Law enforcement authorities in Knoxville say the prisoner, who is serving an eight-year sentence for sexual exploitation of a minor, smuggled an electronic device into the prison, and the two men met through a social media application.
McFatridge said the two men didn’ t know each other before their online connection.
The ALERT unit is also saying the investigation into the Kikino man focused on the distribution, possession and creation of child pornography, but there are no suspicions that any contact offences took place. The detective explained that although the man has been charged with making child pornography, in this case there is so far no indication that the images were associated with the man. Fatridge said the term ‘making’ can mean creating “detailed messaging” or arranging images in a certain way.
The Kikino man has been released on bail and has a court date in Lac La Biche Provincial Court on October 31.
South of the border, the Knoxville inmate plead guilty to charges of distribution and possession of child pornography before a Federal Grand Jury on Sept. 20. His sentencing is set for October 3. The minimum mandatory sentence for offence in the US is 15 years in prison. The maximum is 40 years.
ALERT members say they received information about the Kikino connection through their American partners on August 19. Formal charges were laid against the Kikino man on Aug. 26. Since then, the Alberta police had been waiting for the American portion of the investigation to finish in the courts. Once that was done, said Fatridge, the details of the investigation were released in Alberta.
During the month, Fatridge said, the ICE unit was “satisfied early on that there were no kids at risk in the immediate area.” He also said several agencies in the region were notified of the investigation as a precaution.
In a news releases issued by ALERT today, Knoxville Police Department Chief David Raush says, “This investigation should also serve as a reminder to all child predators that our Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, along with ALERT Internet Child Exploitation and United States Homeland Security knows no borders when it comes to tracking down people who chose to victimize children.”
The Lac La Biche RCMP detachment was contacted for information on the conditions of the Kikino man’ s bail leading up to his court date, and the POST is awaiting a response.
If convicted of the possession and distribution of child pornography, the local man could face jail time between 90 days to 18 months for a first offence. If he is found guilty of making child pornography, he could face jail time from one to 10 years.
ALERT -Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams – is funded by the Alberta government and is a partnership of the province’ s most sophisticated law enforcement resources.
ALERT is made up of members of the Edmonton Police Service, the Calgary Police Service, the RCMP, Alberta Sheriffs, the Lethbridge Police Service and the Medicine Hat Police Service.