Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sgt. Daniel Bowden Has Been Terminated for Child Porn

The veteran Florida Highway Patrol trooper arrested on 10 counts of possession of child pornography this week has been terminated, according to an FHP official in Tallahassee.

"He has been terminated," said Capt. Mark Welch, FHP's chief of public affairs in Tallahassee.

Lake County Sheriff's Office Cyber Crimes Unit arrested former FHP Sgt. Daniel Bowden, 40, on the 10 counts on Tuesday.

The unit had been investigating the Bowden case for several months. A search warrant was served at Bowden's Lake County home and an examination of computers there discovered "numerous images of child pornography," according to the Sheriff's Office.

The images show young male and female children engaged in sex acts, according to an affidavit released by the Sheriff's Office. The children shown in the images are under 18, the document states.

Bowden was arrested without incident and taken to the Lake County Jail. He was released Tuesday evening after posting bail.

During an interview with Lake investigators, Bowden said he "made a mistake," but he also said that "he did not think what he was doing was a big deal," the affidavit states. He told investigators he was viewing the images "out of curiosity," according to the document.

Bowden had been with the FHP since August 1991. He worked ouf of FHP's Troop D and its DeLand station.

Sgt. Hector Montes Arrested for Official Oppression

El Paso County Sheriff's Sgt. Hector Montes, 42, is arrested on suspicion of abusing his authority.

Montes has been booked and released from the El Paso County Jail, and while few details are coming out about what he has done, the sheriff's office has already said it does not condone his behavior.

Montes was charged with official oppression. According to the penal code, the charge is that Montes used his position as a sergeant in the El Paso County Sheriff's Office to his advantage. That could mean he mistreated or arrested someone unlawfully, denied someone his or her rights and/or subjected someone to sexual harassment. It is a misdemeanor charge.

According to what KFOX found in a search of jail records, 42-year-old Montes was booked at the El Paso County Jail a little after 5:30 p.m. on Thursday on a $5,000 bond, and that the incident for which he was charged for happened a week and a half ago on Sept. 16.

He was released less than an hour later on a cash bond.

A spokesman, Deputy Jesse Tovar, said the incident was uncovered by the sheriff's office, calling it "a disturbing incident." Tovar also said they will investigate any additional allegations.

Sheriff's officials said Montes is a 13-year veteran of the sheriff's office, and has been relieved of his duties and placed on administrative leave.

Since Montes is a peace officer, the sheriff's office will not release his mug shot until after an indictment.

Sgt. Daniel Bowden Busted for Looking at Child Porn

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper is unemployed after he was busted for looking at child pornography online.

Lake County Sheriff's deputies arrested Sgt. Daniel Bowden, 40, Tuesday afternoon.

Bowden is facing 10 counts of child pornography for pictures the Lake County Sheriff's Office Cyber Crimes Unit confirmed were on Bowden's computer.

It's an undercover investigation that has taken months to come to light.

“This started back in November of 2008 with a search warrant. Several computers were seized and once the forensics was completed on those computers, there were several images of child pornography that we discovered,” said Cpl. Jim Vachon from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

It was a shocking discovery that led to the arrest of Bowden, an 18-year veteran of the highway patrol, who worked in DeLand, but lives in Lake County.

Deputies said some of the pornographic images Bowden had on his computer appeared to be of children under 4 years old.

“They were described as being obviously children, some pre-pubescent. Just the file names alone were pretty graphic,” Vachon said.

Bowden made statements to the sheriff’s office about his actions.

“Things like ‘I screwed up’ and ‘I was just curious,’ that kind of thing,” Vachon said.

Officers said at one point, Bowden said he did not think what he was doing was a big deal.

It wasn’t the reaction the Florida Highway Patrol had after finding out about his arrest. They said Bowden is being fired and released the following statement:

We regret the incident involving Mr. Bowden, and we certainly do not condone his actions in any way. As State Troopers charged with the safety and well-being of our residents and visitors, we expect all of our officers to hold themselves to the highest ethical and moral standards, including those relating to both their professional and personal lives.

“I mean, of course, it’s difficult for us to investigate a fellow law enforcement officer. But in the end, we've got a job to do and it's just unfortunate that this is the way it went,” Vachon said.

Officer John Cumberland Arrested for Drunk Driving

Metro Police say East Precinct Crime Suppression Unit Officer John Cumberland has been decommissioned of his police authority following his arrest early today on charges of drunken driving and possessing a firearm while under the influence of alcohol.

Police say Cumberland crashed his unmarked police vehicle into a ditch on Newsome Station Road near Settlers Way just before 12:30 a.m.

A citizen called to report the crash and said that the driver appeared to be impaired.

Officers found that Cumberland smelled of alcohol and, after performing field sobriety tasks, indicated impairment.

Cumberland consented to a breath alcohol test, which registered 0.12%.

In Tennessee, a person is considered to be legally under the influence of alcohol with a reading of 0.08%.

Cumberland got off work at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Cumberlands bond was set at $7,000.

The police departments administrative investigation of Cumberlands actions, which is separate from the criminal matter, is underway.