Two men were charged with child pornography possession in Anne Arundel County following lengthy investigations.
A Dec. 4, 2018 report of a suspect uploading images of child pornography to a “particular internet site,” started an investigation by the Anne Arundel County Police Child Abuse Unit. Additional information was acquired from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Utilizing subpoenas and search warrants, a suspect was identified.
On March 15, 2019, investigators executed a search warrant for an address in the 300 block of Baldwin Road in Odenton, where 26-year-old Christopher John Edwards resided. He was present during the search and was interviewed by police, who seized several electronic items that were later examined by the Anne Arundel County Digital Forensic Unit.
A review of these confiscated materials provided corroborating evidence for detectives to obtain a warrant for Edwards' arrest on charges of possession of child pornography. On May 17, he was located and taken into custody.
Police also investigated a Severn man on similar charges.
Reports from Jan. 22, 2019 of an unidentified person uploading child pornographic images to a website prompted another investigation by the Child Abuse Unit. Again, information was provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and investigators used subpoenas and warrants to build a case and identify a suspect.
On April 5, 2019, detectives used a warrant to search a home in the 8000 block of Wayne Road in Severn, where 39-year-old Nicholas Benjamin Hittle resided. Police seized electronic items from the home that the forensic unit later examined.
During an interview with police, Hittle admitted to receiving child pornographic images. Hittle is a registered Tier 2 sex offender in Maryland. During the interview, police learned he did not disclose his email address and social media account to the state Sex Offender Registry, which is a violation of the law. Hittle was charged on April 10 with the violation.
The forensic unit provided electronic evidence showing the presence of child pornography on Hittle’s devices, police said. On May 16, he was arrested at his home and charged with possession of child pornography.
Anne Arundel County Police ask anyone with information about these crimes or any other instance of child pornography or exploitation, to contact the department at 410-222-4733, or use the TipLine at 410-222-4700, or call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.