The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.
Published August 30, 2023
Former county deputy under investigation
CAMDEN COUNTY – A former deputy is under investigation for allegedly uploading child pornography, according to a press release from Sheriff Tony Helms.
According to Helms, the suspect was still a deputy when the investigation began in June with the Sheriff learning it was a Deputy Sheriff in July. Helms fired the deputy last week (August 22).
One of the comments on the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page named who they thought the suspect was.
Whether that name is true or not, The Reporter will not name anyone until they are officially charged. Being “suspected” of a crime or even being under investigation does not mean you are guilty or will ever be charged.
The entire letter that was released last week from Sheriff Helms is below.
August Letter from Sheriff Helms
August 23, 2023
Fellow Citizens of Camden County,
My office received information in June of this year from a Cyber Tipline Report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children concerning an individual uploading suspected child pornography in Camden County. My Investigations Division, as part of the Lake Area Cyber Crimes Task Force, began an immediate investigation to determine the source, location, and suspected probable destination of child pornography images. As the investigation progressed, and our team received information from court-issued subpoenas and search warrants, it became apparent the suspect in the case was employed as a Camden County Deputy Sheriff.
As soon as I had this information in late July, I requested a special investigation be conducted by the Digital Forensics Investigative Unit, a state agency working under the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Once the special investigation request was accepted, I placed the deputy on administrative leave on August 1st pending the outcome of the investigation.
DFIU continued to update my staff on the progress of the investigation and on August 22nd, I terminated the deputy's employment for policy violations. At no time during the investigation has there been any indication or evidence of local citizens of Camden County being in danger. The investigation into the former deputy's criminal conduct continues.
There is no greater trust than that placed by the public into the hands of their law enforcement officers. I want to personally assure the people of Camden County that I take my deputy's behavior and responsibilities seriously. I hold each of my deputies to the highest degree of credibility and I expect them to hold themselves likewise. No one is above the law, regardless of their employment status in local, state, or federal government. I will not tolerate criminal behavior in Camden County and certainly not within my own office, and I want you, the citizens of Camden County, to know my resolve.
Tony R Helms
Sheriff, Camden County
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