A 29-year-old Wyandotte County man has been charged with 18 counts related to child pornography in the first such case investigated and prosecuted by the county, authorities announced Thursday.
Robert E. Boyce Jr. was arrested July 1 after a search of his home. Five of the counts against him stem from alleged distribution of child pornography and 13 counts from alleged possession, said Wyandotte County District Attorney Jerome Gorman.
Investigators think Boyce, a truck driver, never had access to children personally but had downloaded the material from the internet and shared it online.
A computer seized from Boyce’s home was taken to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation for examination. More than 3,000 images of very young children were found, Gorman said.
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The sheriff’s office had been tipped off by Overland Park police who traced online child pornography to Wyandotte County.
Such cases are more frequently investigated by federal law enforcement, and the case was the first of its kind investigated by the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Office.
Federal prosecutors frequently prosecute such cases all over the country, including in Kansas City. Gorman said that in recent years it is growing more difficult for local officials to get a case prosecuted federally.
To gain access to the resources and expertise needed to pursue these cases locally, the sheriff’s office joined the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program, a national network of more than 3,500 local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, said Wyandotte County Sheriff Don Ash.
The sheriff’s office has about a dozen similar cases under investigation, Ash said.