Child porn investigation leads to meth discovery, closure of Sandy daycare

Dec 7, 2021, 7:29 AM | Updated: 11:51 am

SANDY, Utah — Police searching for evidence in a child pornography investigation Monday found something else at a Sandy home that houses a daycare: Meth.

“While we were serving that warrant is when we discovered the drugs,” police said.

KSL TV’s Ladd Egan reported on the developments Monday. 

Discovery of drugs at Sandy daycare residence

Sgt. Clay Swenson with Sandy Police Dept. confirmed they helped serve a search warrant on Dec. 6 at the daycare, located at 9194 Benson Way, reported KSL TV

Swenson said the warrant, pursuant to the ongoing child pornography investigation against two daycare employees, was conducted with the state’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. 

During the search, Egan reported, police found methamphetamine and called in the discovery to Salt Lake County Health Department just before 8 a.m.. Sgt. Swenson said no children were in the residence at the time of the search. 

The health department closed down the in-home daycare, said Egan. The Salt Lake County Health Department said the daycare would remain closed until crews can properly decontaminate it. 

Monday’s discovery comes two years after the start of another investigation relating to two of the daycare’s employees. In Dec. 2019, Google filed tips that multiple videos of child pornography were uploaded to an account. 

Investigators traced the account to a live-in staff member at the Sandy daycare, Kadence Pinder.

In Nov. 2020, police obtained warrants to search the phones of Pinder and her boyfriend, Marcus Strebel, for child pornography. Strebel was also a live-in employee at the daycare.

Original investigation begins with Google tip

In November 2020, after Google flagged the account using CyberTips, a Sandy detective investigated and confirmed the tip. The detective, a part of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, tracked the account back to two emails, both belonging to Pinder. 

Upon initial contact with Pinder, the suspect denied ever intentionally downloading videos with underage subjects. She told officials that her boyfriend, Strebel, also had access to the Google account. 

Strebel responded similarly to officials’ questions. Strebel confirmed that he, like Pinder, had seen child pornography, but that he had never intentionally downloaded any videos. 

Based on findings on the Google account and the suspects’ phones, the ICAC detective issued a request for no-bail arrest warrants. 

On Tuesday Feb. 23 2021, Pinder was charged with 15 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and Strebel with 10 by the Utah Attorney General’s Office.

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