A Dallas Police Officer has been charged with uploading sexually explicit images of children using the City of Dallas’ employee internet, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.
Daniel Lee Collins, a 35-year-old senior corporal assigned to DPD’s Auto Theft Unit, was charged via criminal complaint with one count of transportation of child pornography.
“Law enforcement officers take an oath to protect and serve,” said U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox. “This defendant allegedly undermined that vow, preying upon our most vulnerable. The Department of Justice will not tolerate the exploitation of children – especially by our public servants.”
According to court documents, Mr. Collins allegedly uploaded sexually explicit photos of prepubescent girls to his various Google accounts via the City of Dallas’ internet network.
Google flagged the images – one uploaded on May 13 to an account tagged “Dan Collins” and two more uploaded on June 29 to an account tagged “John Smith” – to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which filed a Cyber Tipline report with the Dallas Police Department. In the report, they noted that one of the profiles included a photo of a man in a police uniform, later determined to be Mr. Collins.
A Dallas IT specialist traced the IP addresses used for the uploads to the City of Dallas internet network. Investigators determined that the same Google accounts were also accessed from Mr. Collin’s residence.
In an interview with federal agents, Mr. Collins allegedly admitted to accessing the Google accounts and saving child pornography.
A complaint is merely an allegation of criminal conduct, not evidence. Like all defendants, Mr. Collins – who has been placed on administrative leave by the police department pending the results of an internal investigation – is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
Homeland Security Investigations’ Dallas Field Office conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Dallas Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Saleem is prosecuting the case.