72 Charged in Probe of Child Sexual Abuse Network
UPDATE: Former Kingsport cop used neighbors, churches, and businesses to access child porn
By Nate Morabito
GREENEVILLE - A federal judge has now unsealed the search warrant that investigators executed on Richard Chandler’s Church Hill home.
A massive two-year federal investigation uncovered Chandler, a former officer with the Kingsport Police Department, was involved with a website named Dreamboard. According to federal investigators, the website was used to promote pedophilia and sexual abuse of very young children.
Chandler faces three charges including engaging in a child exploitation enterprise, conspiracy to advertise the distribution of child pornography, and conspiracy to distribute child pornography.
A special agent with the Department of Homeland Security executed a search warrant at Chandler’s home on July 22, the same day of Chandler’s arrest and resignation from the Kingsport Police Department.
According to the warrant, Chandler joined Dreamboard in February 2010 and made 117 posts to the site, most of which were of preteens. Most of the time Chandler logged on to the website while he was off-duty, but on at least two occasions he did so while on the job, the warrant said.
He also had two email accounts that he used to traffic child pornography and accessed those accounts 28 times while on-duty with the Kingsport Police Department, the warrant said. It also said Chandler used a peer-to-peer file sharing site to trade child pornography.
According to the warrant, agents confiscated a laptop and two external hard drives from Chandler’s home
A judge unsealed the search warrant at the request of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Federal prosecutors say it’s still unclear if any of Chandler’s alleged victims are from the Tri-Cities.
“We may never know,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Bowman said. “The images go to the National Center for Exploited and Missing Children and they try to identify the victims.”
A review of Chandler’s personnel file with the City of Kingsport revealed Chandler passed a psychological exam before working for the department. Chandler was also trained in child sex abuse and was certified as a child passenger safety technician.