A child pornography investigation that began in Hamilton County led to federal charges against three people from northeast Indiana.
A grand jury in Fort Wayne returned indictments against Brian L. Schinbeckler, 50, Fort Wayne, and Bernard L. Squires, 64, Columbia City, for distribution of child pornography, according to the U.S. attorney. Charges also were filed by the U.S. attorney against Christopher Ramirez, 33, Fort Wayne, for production of child pornography.
The charges come from an investigation of child pornography distributed through file-sharing programs over the Internet. Affidavits said the investigations were conducted by detectives with the Hamilton County Metropolitan Internet Child Exploitation Task Force, working as part of a larger task force of police departments investigating child pornography in cooperation with the FBI.
Affidavits said detectives checked the Gnutella file-sharing network for a specific network address and looked at the file names to see if there was a possibility that the files contained child pornography. When some of those files were found to be pornographic, police got warrants to trace the locations of the computers where the files originated.
In additional search warrants issued last week, computers containing the allegedly pornographic files were seized, which led to the federal charges against the three people. In one case, a wireless router and a laptop computer were found hidden under a refrigerator, according to an affidavit.
The U.S. attorney said more people could be charged in this case.