Child pornography cases flushed out by task force

Oct 3 2013 - 10:49am

Images

Troy Leon Johnson (jail photo)
Aaron Wayne Hammond (jail photo)
Troy Leon Johnson (jail photo)
Aaron Wayne Hammond (jail photo)

Another man has been charged with downloading child porn, the latest in a string of local busts initiated by the Utah Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

In November, the task force found that an IP address later discovered to belong to Aaron Wayne Hammond, 36, of North Salt Lake, was suspected of downloading child porn through a peer-to-peer network called eDonkey, according to a probable cause statement. A search of his home in February found thousands of child porn pictures and more than 100 videos.

Hammond admitted to police to downloading child porn for 10 to 15 years, according to the affidavit. He denied ever sexually abusing children.

Police arrested Hammond Monday, and he is charged in 2nd District Court in Farmington with 15 second-degree felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Hammond's arrest was at least the fourth in Davis and Weber counties for alleged child porn possession in the last week. In all three cases, information from the task force led to the arrests.

However, Patty Reed, supervisory special agent with the task force, said it's not abnormal for the task force to be investigating multiple people from the same area at any given time.

"I can't really say that one area is worse than another," she said.

Troy Leon Johnson, 49, of Ogden, was arrested Sept. 26 and was charged with five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. According to court documents, task force officers found child porn on his phone during a search of his home.

Jon R. Carlsen, 51, of Bountiful, was arrested Friday and is facing 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. An undercover task force officer received a child porn file from Carlsen's IP address, according to court documents. He later admitted to police to viewing child porn.

Curtis Lynn Robbins, 49, of Ogden, was also arrested Friday and was charged with 20 sexual exploitation of a minor counts. The task force got a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that he had uploaded child porn photos to Facebook, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Reed said information from the NCMEC and identifying IP addresses sharing or downloading child porn on peer-to-peer networks are the two main ways the task force finds offenders.

More than 70 officers in Utah are on the task force, which works "as many cases as our investigators can pull," Reed said.

Typically, the task force doesn't investigate cases where just a few pictures are being downloaded or shared, focusing instead on larger cases.

"We try to identify serious offenders," Reed said.

Utah has a high rate of child porn users compared to the rest of the country, but that statistic may be a little misleading. Reed believes the high number is due largely to the good work of the task force.

"There is a lot of controversy over Utah's high rate, which I would not disagree," she said. "But the task force is very proactive, so our numbers are high."

Contact reporter Bubba Brown at 801-625-4221 or bbrown@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @BubbaBrownSE.

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