An Anne Arundel County police officer has been arrested and charged with possessing child pornography and for soliciting sex with an 8-year-old, the department announced Friday.
Zachary Steven Koshlap, 33, faces 10 counts of possession of child pornography and one count of sexual solicitation of a minor, electronic court records show. He does not have an attorney listed online.
A six-year veteran of the county Police Department, Koshlap was assigned to the Bureau of Patrol, police officials said in a statement released Friday.
Child abuse detectives arrested Koshlap earlier in the day near his residence in Glen Burnie without incident, police said. He is being held without bond, though it’s unclear from online jail records where he is in custody.
Police said Kohslap was suspended from his law enforcement duties on March 23 when detectives identified him as the user on a porn site who solicited a sexual encounter with a child from an undercover FBI agent. Koshlap was first suspended with pay, but his wage has since been revoked. Equipped with a warrant, county police detectives searched Koshlap’s residence the same day.
Detectives confiscated various “digital devices” and interviewed Koshlap, who police said admitted soliciting sex from an 8-year-old.
In a phone interview, Police Chief Timothy Altomare denounced the actions of Koshlap, who he described in an earlier statement as a “predator in uniform,” and said this case is proof that his department holds the “bad apples” accountable.
“The allegations are disgusting and the antithesis of what the Anne Arundel County Police Department exists for: We exist to protect people, especially kids," Altomare told The Capital. “We’ll do the right thing whenever we find out we have poison seeping into our (department).”
An undercover FBI task force officer spearheaded the investigation Feb. 26 by posing on explicit websites as a father with an 8-year-old daughter, according to charging documents. Koshlap, using an anonymous username, inquired about arranging a sexual encounter with the fictional child. The undercover officer and Koshlap began texting and arranged a meeting at a Washington, D.C., hotel.
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The meeting never occurred, but the FBI agent connected Koshlap’s username and text messages to a Comcast account and obtained a court order, which identified Koshlap and his residence, court records show.
Federal authorities turned the case over to county cops. Altomare said it may not have met the threshold for federal prosecution, but thank the FBI for giving his detectives “a chance to do the right thing.”
“Once we were notified by the FBI task force, we all decided to hurry to get together and get a search warrant," Altomare said.
Child abuse detectives coordinated with county prosecutors to draft a search warrant for Koshlap’s residence and technology, Altomare said. “Whenever you’re talking about in-depth investigative techniques, there’s always collaboration with the State’s Attorney’s Office.”
On March 23, detectives descended on Koshlap’s door, searched his house and confiscated his Samsung smartphone, court records show. The police department’s Digital Forensics Lab uncovered on Koshlap’s phone roughly 154 explicit images of young boys and girls.
Police encourage anyone with information about Koshlap or any other victims to contact the department’s Child Abuse Unit at 410-222-4733 or, if the caller wishes to remain anonymous, dial the Tip Line at 410-222-4700.