- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Florida police officer who was named “Officer of the Year” four years ago was arrested by federal officials Tuesday on child pornography charges.

Department of Homeland Security agents have been investigating Port St. Lucie Police Officer Michael Harding since July, when an undercover agent allegedly met the officer in an online Kik Messenger group, CBS News reported.

Officer Harding, allegedly typing under the name “desthfromabovee,” posted two photos of a preteen female engaging in a sex act, according to a criminal complaint.

The undercover investigator said there were two more instances in which “desthfromabovee” posted explicit content of young women, according to the criminal complaint.

Homeland Security obtained phone records from AT&T and tracked the user name, Kik Messenger app, IP address and cellphone service back to Officer Harding, CBS reported.

They say a search of his computer and other devices revealed hundreds of images and videos of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Investigators say they have reason to believe the officer uploaded some of the pornographic content while in his patrol car, CBS reported.

Officer Harding is charged with receiving and distributing material involving sexual exploitation of minors and possession of child pornography. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

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