Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

October 8, 2013

Child porn suspect arrested in Kokomo

Federal search warrant served on north side

By Scott Smith Kokomo Tribune
Kokomo Tribune

---- — Federal agents arrested a Kokomo man Monday on child pornography charges, seizing computer equipment during a search warrant raid.

Brandon Tooley, 32, 1518 N. Philips St., was taken to an undisclosed location after agents descended on his detached rental Monday morning.

According to a federal complaint filed Monday, agents found more than 100 images of child pornography on Tooley’s computer during the raid. Officers said Tooley consented to an interview after the warrant was served and admitted to trading the images online and keeping them on his computer.

He faces two counts of distributing child pornography and one count of possession. According to the complaint, Tooley told police he never had sexual contact with a child and did not have access to children.

The U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, began looking at Tooley’s online activity last summer as part of an investigation of a specific website.

According to the complaint, many of the images posted in public albums on the website, which wasn’t named, are not child pornography.

But, “often evidence from the images, and comments posted about the album (either by other individuals or the member who created the album), indicates that the particular poster or person who created the album has a sexual interest in children.”

Agents said they suspected one poster of criminal activity due to a series of comments made about images, including one question to another poster asking whether that person “plays” with the kids pictured.

That question, according to investigators, was sexual in nature. They asked for a federal search warrant on the Yahoo! email account connected with Tooley’s username. Investigators said emails from Tooley obtained in that search contained child pornography images.

Agents said images sent by Tooley were also found during a recent bust of a child pornography suspect in North Carolina.

After obtaining the Yahoo! emails, investigators performed an online sting operation against Tooley and, according to the complaint, Tooley sent pornographic images of children to an undercover federal investigator last Friday.

Thomas Cook, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney of the Southern District Court in Indianapolis, said a detention hearing for Tooley will be “in the next few days,” and declined to say where Tooley is being held.