Ferndale man facing child pornography charges for having nearly 2,000 images


A Ferndale man is facing child pornography charges after a Homeland Security investigation allegedly uncovered nearly 2,000 images and 200 videos on the man's computers and drives, according to charges filed in Whatcom County Superior Court.

Glenn Benjamin Kelly, 52, is facing two first-degree counts and one second-degree count of possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

According to court documents:

In October 2011, Homeland Security Investigations began looking into a Russian website that allows users to upload and comment on photos and is known to be a collection place for child pornography. In November 2012, investigators began looking into a profile that had shared suspicious photos on that site. The profile was traced back to an apartment complex in the 2200 block of Main Street in Ferndale, and the investigation focused on Kelly.

In January 2013, investigators met with Kelly, who confirmed that he had used that profile and a connected email address. He said he had uploaded photos of a pre-teen girl he was in contact with.

When Kelly gave an agent permission to look in a computer that only Kelly used, the agent found a folder containing 30 to 40 images involving child pornography.

Kelly's computers, hard drives, thumb drives and memory cards were seized, and a forensic examination uncovered nearly 2,000 images and nearly 200 videos containing child pornography. Of those, 378 files included children who the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children had identified as victims, according to the documents.

Homeland Security decided not to prosecute Kelly federally and passed the investigation to the Ferndale Police Department. Kelly was interviewed by a detective and admitted to having the images, Ferndale Police Lt. Matt Huffman said.

Kelly was arrested May 7, and his arraignment is scheduled for Friday morning, May 16.

Reach Zoe Fraley at zoe.fraley@bellinghamherald.com or call 756-2803.

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