CHILD PORNOGRAPHY ARRESTS

Over the past several months, Howard County police have investigated numerous tips from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) related to the possession and sale of child pornography. These complex and technical investigations often require peeling back layers of online anonymity behind which suspects hide their true identity. Thanks to the diligent work of detectives in the family crimes & sexual assault division, HCPD in July arrested two men and two juveniles for possession of child pornography.

Nicholas David Gehringer, 29, of Sharp Road in Glenwood, is charged with four counts of possession of child pornography. Jawad Hyder Wagan, 32, of Tamar Drive in Columbia, is charged with 10 counts of possession of child pornography. Two juvenile males from Laurel also have been charged. Detectives do not believe the suspects produced child pornography nor do they believe the children depicted in the recovered images are known to the suspects. The investigations continue and additional charges are possible. A big thanks to our computer forensics unit, Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office, and Maryland State Police for their help in these cases.

Detectives are reminding parents to encourage their children to be safe online, especially with increased internet usage during the pandemic. These excellent resources address several issues related to online safety: https://www.missingkids.org/netsmartz/resources and https://www.netsmartzkids.org. You can send tips to the NCMEC here: https://www.missingkids.org/gethelpnow/cybertipline.

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Scott E