Multi-state effort underway to track child porn photo source - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Multi-state effort underway to track child porn photo source

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MPD investigates after Action News 5 received the illegal image through e-mail MPD investigates after Action News 5 received the illegal image through e-mail
MPD detectives investigate after Action News 5 producers received the illegal image in an e-mail MPD detectives investigate after Action News 5 producers received the illegal image in an e-mail
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) – The Memphis Police Department is working to figure out who sent a graphic image of a toddler performing a sex act on a man to media outlets across the city.

Already, the photo has landed controversial radio host Thaddeus Matthews in jail, after he claims he posted the photo to his Facebook page in an effort to identify the victim and man in the photo.

Police say they are still digging with plans to lock up others.

MPD sex crimes investigators spent some time in the Action News 5 newsroom Thursday, sifting through e-mails after the photo was sent to several producers over the weekend. We contacted police as soon as we received the photo.

"We do want to trace back to who sent it because the person who sent it is distributing it, which is against the law," said Lt. Wilton Cleveland, Memphis Police Department.

Matthews claims, as the only person arrested, that he is been targeted by police and prosecutors.

"So who else is the attorney general and the police department going to go after?" he asked.

But District Attorney General Amy Weirich disagrees.

"We don't target anybody. We do our job," she said.

Weirich said anyone who shares, e-mails, sends, or passes along child porn is committing a crime, regardless of their intent.

"That's a felony. Do not do that. If you get an image such as the one we've been talking about this week, call the police. Delete it, call the police, let them do their job," she said.

Action News 5 contacted police shortly after the initial e-mail arrived in the inbox.

Raycom Media, which owns WMC-TV, alerted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

"You report right away and you don't show it to anybody else," said Lt. Cleveland.

Police say they are still investigating the source and creation of the image and they do expect to file more charges, arresting anyone else they can prove shared the photo.

A conviction in state court can carry anywhere from two to 12 years.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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