By Conrad Dudderar
A Yukon man faces 40 years in prison after a Canadian County sheriff’s investigator allegedly found child pornography on his electronic devices.
Richard Joseph Sharp, 58, was charged June 22 in Canadian County District Court with two counts of possessing obscene material.
Assistant District Attorney Austin T. Murrey claims Sharp violated state law “by willfully possessing multiple materials of child pornography” on an HP laptop computer and a Samsung Galaxy smart phone.
Each count is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a maximum $25,000 fine.
The Canadian County Sheriff’s Office investigations unit received a “cybertip” from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children that led to Sharp’s June 16th arrest, according to court documents.
Sgt. David Cates, a member of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation task force for Internet Crimes Against Children, reviewed media files that Sharp had allegedly uploaded and sent via a messaging app that contained images of child pornography.
The content of the graphic images is detailed in a probable cause affidavit signed by Cates. The images show children between the approximate ages of 5 and 12 years.
SEARCH WARRANT SERVED
The sheriff’s investigator tracked the suspect’s IP address to Sharp’s home in the 3800 block of Mathew Drive in Yukon.
Sgt. Cates served a search warrant signed by a Canadian County judge around 2:45 p.m. June 16 to “collect all electronic storage devices.” He conducted a recorded interview with Sharp.
“During the interview, Richard admitted to being on the Kik application, as well as sending and receiving media files containing photographs/videos of child pornography,” according to the investigator’s affidavit.
“Richard also admitted to me that there were images/videos now on his laptop and cell phone inside the residence.”
A preliminary forensic investigation was conducted on-site of the phone and laptop. Media files of photographs and videos containing apparent child pornography were allegedly located on both devices.
Sharp was booked into the Canadian County Jail on child pornography complaints.
He was formally charged six days later with possessing obscene material, a felony crime.
Sharp is represented by public defender J.P. Hill. A preliminary hearing conference was set July 19 before Canadian County Special Judge Charles Gass.