A deputy with the Orange County Sheriff's Office was arrested last week by the U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations. Kevin Hutchinson is charged with receipt of child pornography.
Why did the feds get involved? According to the criminal complaint, Hutchinson, 36, initially distributed child pornography by using a Canadian app called Kik.
The social networking company has developed a system to detect whether an individual is using its services to transmit abusive images or messages. An individual using the handle john_easley360 sent an exploitative image of an adult male's penis in a child's mouth in December 2017.
The files were reviewed for content and the IP address was tracked back to Hutchinson, according to the report. Surveillance was set up outside the law enforcement official's home, where he lived alone.
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During a federal search warrant Thursday, Hutchinson initially denied any wrongdoing. But as the investigation wore on, the suspect admitted to downloading child pornography and categorizing the files so they were better organized.
There was also a file on his laptop that read "Guide," which gave instructions on how to be a pedophile, the criminal complaint said.
Hutchinson, who has been with the Orange County Sheriff's Office since August 2016, is a patrol deputy. His employment status is now unclear.
The case was brought as part of the Project Safe Childhood , a nationwide initiative by the Department of Justice to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse.