CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Sandy firefighter captain ‘no longer employed’ after reportedly sharing child porn

Mar 11, 2022, 4:45 PM | Updated: 9:32 pm

A helmet and coat are pictured at Fire Station 31 in Sandy....

A helmet and coat are pictured at Fire Station 31 in Sandy on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. (FILE Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

(FILE Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

SANDY, Utah — A Sandy City firefighter captain is no longer an employee of the department, after being placed on administrative leave during an investigation into whether he uploaded and shared child porn. 

Investigation of a Sandy firefighter

The probable cause statement says investigators got a tip about Captain Clinton McKee by a social media company he was reportedly trying to upload images to.  That company sent a tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), which contacted the Utah Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.  Investigators say they tracked the IP address to McKee’s home, and investigators searched that house.  The PC statement says the images found in McKee’s home matched those being reported by social media platform.

The statement reads, “After being read his rights per Miranda, Clinton McKee agreed to speak to investigators.  He admitted to using the social media company to view and distribute child pornography to others.”

Extreme rise in the amount of sharing of illegal pornography

Utah Attorney General’s Office Spokesman Richard Piatt says certain computer programs can track these images and alert investigators, whether they’re being uploaded or received.  However, he says ICAC is facing a staggering amount of work.

Piatt said, “The alerts are coming in, constantly, because they’re detecting it.”

He says people trading these images will use every electronic method they can.

“It’s everything.  They’ll use Facebook Messenger, they’ll use Google email, they’ll use text messaging, and they’ll use FileTransfer and Dropbox,” Piatt said.  “Technology keeps advancing, so the problem is just multiplying.”

Since the COVID pandemic began, Piatt says the number of illegal images being shared took a dramatic turn upward.

“Since the beginning of COVID, the number of NCMEC reporting child pornography being traded or downloaded is up 600 percent,” he said.

Secret cameras reportedly hidden in the home

Along with the child pornography, the PC statement says McKee placed hidden cameras inside his house to catch video of underage girls undressing.  Investigators say his wife runs a clothing tailoring and tanning company out of their home, and the cameras were placed where teenage girls would disrobe.  The PC statement says McKee admitted to keeping those videos.

He was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on seven counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony.  Investigators requested he not be allowed to be released on bail.

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Sandy firefighter captain ‘no longer employed’ after reportedly sharing child porn