Undercover police work in Newfoundland and Labrador has led to the arrest of a man in Ontario accused of possessing and making available child pornography.
There is no information to indicate any of the children appearing in images allegedly found on computers belonging to 40-year-old Troy Aaron Paul Charron are from Newfoundland and Labrador, according to Sgt. Darin MacDonald of the combined forces special enforcement unit (CFSEU-NL).
According to a news release issued by the integrated investigative unit that includes both RCMP and Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officers, the arrest of the accused was the result of a month-long undercover investigation.
MacDonald could not get into specifics about the nature of the undercover work, but he said such cases often involve investigators downloading a picture from someone.
“They may just start with one picture, so once they get to view that and see what the (suspect) is actually exchanging, then they might go from there,” said MacDonald, a team leader with CFSEU-NL.
Police in Chatham, Ont., executed a search warrant at a home on Dec. 11. Two computers were seized from the home. Police allege images of child sexual abuse were found on those computers.
Charron was arrested two days later as he was returning to the United States from Canada. Canada Border Services Agency officers stopped his vehicle and found a computer and an external storage device that also allegedly contained images of child sexual abuse.
“This a good example of some real good co-operation,” said MacDonald.
“We do everything we can within our jurisdiction and follow that up and gain as much evidence as possible, and then we package that up and send that to the jurisdiction that we believe the suspect is in, and then the police force of jurisdiction there just builds upon that and keeps going.”
Information concerning an online suspect may initially indicate that person is based in Newfoundland and Labrador, MacDonald said as an example, when in fact the suspect lives in another province or country.
Given the sensitive nature of child pornography cases, MacDonald said investigating officers can react emotionally to the materials they find.
“Without a doubt, it is difficult, because ... no matter what, you’re still human,” he said. “They’re not your children, they’re not even probably anyone you’ll ever see, but it’s just difficult because you have to view this. The only good thing is that hopefully by viewing it, you’ve got that knowledge that you’re going to stop this.”
Charron was released on bail last month and is scheduled to appear in an Ontario courtroom on Jan. 7, 2014. He is charged with two counts of possessing child pornography and single counts of making child pornography available, accessing child pornography, unsafely storing firearms and possessing a prohibited weapon. He also faces additional charges for allegedly possessing and importing prohibited material.