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Harford County man arrested on child pornography charges

August 20th, 2019 by WCBC Radio

A Harford County man was arrested and charged today after a Maryland State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force investigation developed evidence supporting charges of distribution and possession of child pornography.

The suspect is identified as Christian Shoap, 22, of Bel Air, Maryland. He is charged with four counts of distribution of child pornography and nine counts of possession of child pornography. Shoap was arrested at his residence without incident and taken to the Maryland State Police Bel Air Barrack for processing.

In June 2019, troopers from the Maryland State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force began an online investigation involving the distribution and possession of child pornography.  Investigators obtained media files of child pornography that were being distributed online. Further investigation led to the identification of the suspect and his residence in Harford County.

At about 6 a.m. today, the Maryland State Police served a search warrant at the identified residence. During the serving of the warrant, a preliminary forensic review of Shoap’s electronic devices revealed multiple child pornography files. The devices were seized and will be analyzed by the Maryland State Police Digital Forensics Laboratory. Shoap was arrested without incident. Homeland Security Investigations assisted in this investigation.

The Maryland State Police Computer Crimes Unit coordinates the Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. This is a combined law enforcement effort involving police departments across Maryland that is made possible in part due to grant funds provided by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) and by a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. Task force investigators focus on identifying those involved in child pornography via the Internet and other related crimes that victimize children.

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