MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami-Dade Police Department said Thursday it has initiated a criminal investigation involving a police officer in coordination with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.
On Thursday afternoon, Miami-Dade Police Public Information Officer Alvaro Zabaleta said, “The Miami-Dade Police officer is currently being questioned. We will continue to work alongside the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office throughout the entirety of this process.”READ MORE: There's No Business Like Shoe Business & The High End Sneaker Business Is Booming
Zabaleta did not identify the police officer, but said the officer has been relieved of duty.
A senior law enforcement source told CBS4 News that this investigation began several weeks ago when the Miami-Dade Police Cyber Crimes Unit received information that there was an active child pornography website and that someone locally was downloading images from that site.
The MDPD began their investigation not knowing who the individual was, but as they traced the IP address for the downloads, they discovered that the person suspected of doing this was one of their own, a Miami-Dade [olice officer who has been with the department for six years.READ MORE: Wife Of Slain Cyclist Pushes For Safety Measures After 2 More Deaths On Rickenbacker Causeway
Investigators then found 19 videos on the officer’s cell phone. They were described as hardcore, explicit videos of children, believed to be between the ages of 8 and 13.
Detectives have also seized the officer’s home computer and all other electronic devices and if they find additional images and videos on those devices additional charges will be filed.
The officer was questioned and admitted to detectives that he had visited the site but then stopped cooperating with investigators.
“Our children trust us to keep them safe and out of harm’s way. Not only as law enforcement, but as a father, a crime against a child is intolerable and will never be accepted. It sickens me to learn that one of our law enforcement officers is involved in betraying that trust. We will ensure transparency to our community and will provide an update as this investigation continues,” said Miami-Dade Police Director George A. Perez.MORE NEWS: Miami PD Needs Help Finding 84-Year-Old Joseph Downs
Police did not release additional information regarding their investigation.