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Bel Air man charged with distributing, possessing child pornography

Christian Shoap, 22, of Bel Air, was arrested by Maryland State Police Tuesday and is facing 13 charges of possessing and distributing child pornography.
Christian Shoap, 22, of Bel Air, was arrested by Maryland State Police Tuesday and is facing 13 charges of possessing and distributing child pornography. (Courtesy Maryland State)

A Bel Air man is charged Tuesday with 13 counts of possessing and distributing child pornography, according to Maryland State Police.

Christian Shoap, 22, is charged with four counts of distribution of child pornography and nine counts of possession of child pornography, according to police.

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He was arrested at his home Tuesday without incident and taken to the Maryland State Police Bel Air Barrack for processing.

In June, troopers from the Maryland State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force began an online investigation involving the distribution and possession of child pornography. Investigators obtained media files of child pornography that were being distributed online and were led to Shoap and his home in Bel Air.

At about 6 a.m. Tuesday, the Maryland State Police served a search warrant at Shoap’s home, according to a news release from the agency.

During the serving of the warrant, a preliminary forensic review of Shoap’s electronic devices revealed multiple child pornography files. The devices were seized and will be analyzed by the Maryland State Police Digital Forensics Laboratory.

Homeland Security Investigations assisted in the investigation.

The Maryland State Police Computer Crimes Unit coordinates the Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, a combined law enforcement effort involving police departments across the state. It is funded in part by grants from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Task force investigators focus on identifying those involved in child pornography via the Internet and other related crimes that victimize children.

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