Hamilton Journal News

Franklin County deputy in custody for child porn charges, faces terminatio­n

- By Bethany Bruner The Columbus Dispatch

COLUMBUS — The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is seeking to fire a deputy who worked in the jail facility as that deputy remains in federal custody on charges accusing him of soliciting and receiving pornograph­ic images of children.

Daniel Heintz, 38, of the Far East Side, was charged Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Columbus with two child pornograph­y related counts and turned himself in to federal authoritie­s.

Following the charges being filed against Heintz, Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin said in a statement that he has asked his staff to “immediatel­y begin the process of terminatin­g”

Heintz’s employment.

“While everyone arrested is presumed innocent, someone charged with a felony loses the privilege of working for the people of Franklin County,” Baldwin said.

Heintz was hired by the sheriff ’s office in 2007 and is a deputy in the Franklin County jail without peace officer training, meaning he cannot work patrol or perform other detective assignment­s.

The FBI had searched Heintz’s home and questioned him Feb. 10. Baldwin placed Heintz on administra­tive leave Feb. 11 after learning of the search. Heintz had been working in the downtown jail facility at the time.

According to court records, Heintz was communicat­ing with someone in Illinois between August and December in which the pair discussed their mutual sexual interest in children. Court records indicate Heintz and the person in Illinois exchanged photograph­s of prepubesce­nt and teenage girls over Kik, a messaging app.

In one conversati­on, according to court records, Heintz allegedly discussed sexually abusing a child he had access to, including photograph­ing that child while they slept. Court records show the subject in Illinois was arrested in mid-August and allowed federal agents to continue using his Kik account to further their investigat­ion across state lines. Heintz and the Illinois suspect, who is not named in the court records, had been in communicat­ion prior to the Illinois suspect’s arrest.

FBI agents continued to converse with Heintz through the Kik applicatio­n, according to court records. On Dec. 31, Heintz told the agents posing as the Illinois suspect that his wife found a video of bestiality on his cellphone.

On Feb. 10, FBI agents executed a search warrant at Heintz’s home and seized his cellphone at the downtown jail facility, where he was at work.

A search of Heintz’s cellphone discovered several hundred images, with an examinatio­n of the images still being conducted, court records show.

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