Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Franklin man arrested on child porn charges


Homeland Security credit-card review leads to seizure of computer equipment

By Meagan Pollnow
Enquirer staff writer

While the Department of Homeland Security is known for its pursuit of terrorists and color-coded warning charts, it also has another, perhaps less familiar goal: to interrupt the international flow of child pornography.

David Kinnison, 32, of Franklin was arrested Monday afternoon and is facing 200 counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor after a Department of Homeland Security review of his credit card records.

The department's investigation into Kinnison is part of Operation Falcon, a program to unearth and prosecute subscribers to child pornography Web sites. In January, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is controlled by the Department of Homeland Securityl searched Connections USA Inc., a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., company that allegedly processed credit-card payments for child pornography Web sites.

"Seventy thousand names were uncovered, and one of the names was David Kinnison," said Franklin Police Det. Brian Pacifico, who is working on the case.

The department notified Franklin police of their findings, and the Cybercrime task force of the county prosecutor's office searched Kinnison's home April 7. The search uncovered computer equipment, disks and CDs they say contained child pornography.

The evidence includes thousands of images of boys engaged in sexual activity, but Warren County Prosecutor Rachel Hutzel said each of the 200 counts is for every boy engaged in a sexual act that Kinnison saved on his computer.

The Web sites where the material was downloaded are based in Russia and Ukraine, according to Hutzel.

"It's by far, the biggest and worst case we've ever had," she said.

Pacifico said there's no indication that Kinnison was selling or trading the material he downloaded.

If it weren't for the Department of Homeland Security's investigation, Pacifico said, there would be virtually no way of knowing about Kinnison's activities.

"Most of the time, someone brings in a computer to a technician and if he finds that material, he'll give us a call," Pacifico said.

"But if it wasn't for this operation, we wouldn't have known about it."

Hutzel said Kinnison would likely be scheduled for trial in the fall. If convicted, he faces up to eight years in prison and a $15,000 fine for each of the 200 counts.

A Warren County judge will set bond today.




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