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National Guard member charged for uploading child pornography

(Provided Photo/Johnson County Prosecutor's Office)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department has arrested a man for possession and distribution of sexually explicit material of children while at Camp Atterbury, a military base in Edinburgh operated by the Indiana National Guard.

Michael Pellom, 22, of Plainfield, is facing charges of child exploitation with an aggravating factor.

Detectives with the IMPD began an investigation on Pellom after receiving a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on Aug. 14.

The tip from the center said five pieces of child pornography were uploaded to a private message on the app, Kik, court documents say.

After submitting a search warrant to Kik for the content associated with the account, the investigator was unable to connect the Kik account to Pellom, as Pellom had used a fake email for the account, according to court documents.

Court documents say that the investigator proceeded to track the IP addresses on which the Kik account had been accessed, and located the IP address as belonging to the internet router in Pellom’s home.

After submitting several search warrant requests, the investigator gained access to Pellom’s Facebook, Google account, DropBox, and more, but didn’t find evidence of child pornography in any account, according to court papers.

On Jan. 24, the investigator was granted a search warrant to search any portable devices in Pellom’s possession, court documents say. Pellom was then taken into custody on Jan. 26.

According to court documents, investigators discovered dozens of cache images of child pornography on Pellom’s phone, including cache images of three of the five files Pellom had uploaded to Kik.

The investigator discovered Pellom had been at Camp Atterbury for its Annual Training with the 438th Chemical Company, court papers say, and determined that Pellom had distributed the pornographic material while at Camp Atterbury.

Court documents say investigators determined Pellom uploaded the material using his own private IP address and not any addresses connected to Camp Atterbury.

Pellom was being held at the Johnson County Jail on a $2,500 cash bond. An initial hearing took place on Thursday. A jury trial was set for May 22.

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