Former “Officer of the Year” arrested in child porn case

24 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Florida cop once named ‘Officer of the Year’ arrested for child porn by Homeland Security.

A married Florida police officer is charged with sending and receiving child pornography while he was supposed to be on duty – and the father of three allegedly possessed videos depicting pre-school kids performing sex acts on adults. A Florida cop once named “Officer of the Year” was arrested by federal agents for distributing child porn — and uploading the smut on the job, court documents show. Lucie Officer Michael Harding was charged Wednesday with distributing and receiving pornography after undercover Homeland Security investigators say he allegedly posted explicit images online using the smartphone app Kik on July 23.

The investigators executed a search warrant on Harding’s home on Tuesday and found a thumb drive “containing hundreds of images and videos of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct” in a gun case in Harding’s bedroom closet, the affidavit says. A Homeland Security Investigator stumbled onto posts Harding made under the name destheabovee showing young girls in sex acts with men, the affidavit said. Harding allegedly used the messenger app Kik to send videos of child porn under the user name “desthfromabovee,” according to the Department of Homeland Security complaint.

Lucie Police Chief John Bolduc told the station. “He did very well on all the different things we do in the hiring process — psychological evaluations, polygraphs — all that checked out fine.” Harding has been placed on administrative leave without pay during the investigation, Bolduc added. Harding was taken into custody Tuesday evening and appointed a public defender Wednesday after telling a judge he had $3,000 in his bank account, WPTV reported.

Based on the time frames of the posts and his work schedule, investigators believe Harding uploaded some of the pornographic content while in his patrol car. When the department first learned of the investigation Tuesday morning, he was placed on paid leave. “These charges are very serious and I think it goes without saying that this type of behavior will not and is not tolerated in this department,” Bolduc said. later calling the charges “disturbing.” He said the charges were shocking because Harding had passed hiring tests, including a polygraph test, as an “accomplished” officer. Department spokesman Frank Sabol told the Daily News he couldn’t comment on the federal charges but noted Harding had no disciplinary action against him in his three years with Port St.

Nestor Yglesias, the spokesman for Homeland Security Investigations in Miami, said he could not release more information because of the ongoing investigation and criminal case.

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