An Alberta man has been arrested for allegedly sharing extremely graphic child pornography with a U.S. prisoner who is currently serving an eight-year sentence for sex crimes against a minor.
Police say that Peter Ritchie, 44, from the Kikino Metis Settlement, located about 200 kilometres northeast of Edmonton, met Tennessee inmate Christopher Grippe, 28, over the internet.
The two are alleged to have moved their communications to a secure social media app, which is where they began sharing child pornography.
Police say Grippe had access to the offending material on an electronic device he had smuggled into the Knoxville prison.
“To smuggle an electronic device into a prison reveals the risks that a child predator will take to victimize a child,” said Knoxville Police Department Chief David Rausch.
Ritchie, who is a member of the Kikino Metis Settlement Fire Department, was arrested by the Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit on Aug. 26 with assistance from RCMP Lac La Biche members.
The 44-year-old was charged with possession, distributing, and making child pornography. He is scheduled to appear in Lac La Biche court on Oct. 31.
At this point in the investigation ICE has no suspicion that any contact offences took place.
Grippe was in the midst of serving an eight-year sentence for sexual exploitation of a minor and has been indicted for distribution and possession of child pornography and appeared before a Federal Grand Jury on Sept. 20.
“This investigation should also serve as a reminder to all child predators that our Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force along with ALERT Internet Child Exploitation and United States Homeland Security knows no borders when it comes to tracking down people who chose to victimize children,” Rausch said.
The operation was a joint investigation was between ALERT Internet Child Exploitation, United States Homeland Security, and Knoxville Internet Crimes Against Children Unit.
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