COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A corrections deputy with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is facing multiple child pornography charges.
Court documents state that Daniel P. Heintz had multiple conversations over the Kik Messenger app in August 2020 with a man who was later arrested by the FBI on child enticement charges in Illinois.
According to a federal affidavit, Heintz, 38, and the man arrested discussed several times their mutual sexual interest in children, as well as the possibility of Heintz taking a nude photograph of an unidentified minor female.
The affidavit also alleges that Heintz and the subject exchanged child pornography images.
U.S. Attorney David DeVillers said Heintz turned himself in Wednesday morning.
On Feb. 10, a search warrant was executed at the Franklin County Correctional Center, where Heintz worked, and his phone was seized, while a laptop and an iPad were seized during a search of his home.
The affidavit states that after a digital forensic extraction of Heintz’s phone, thousands of images of child pornography were found.
A statement from Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin says Heintz is a non-certified deputy and is currently on unpaid administrative leave while his termination is being processed due to the felony charges.
“I’m proud of the hundreds of deputies and other sheriff’s office employees who work hard and dedicate themselves to protecting Franklin County families. On those rare occasions when an independent investigation finds probable cause that an employee committed a felony, I take swift action to hold that person accountable,” Baldwin said in the statement.
Chief Deputy Rick Minerd also responded to the news of Heintz’s arrest.
“When you learn of this behavior, and then you read of some of the detail in the affidavits and think that somebody that we employed, somebody that you work alongside, somebody you trust — you trust to go out in the community and help people and that they violate that trust — it’s a sad day for law enforcement and especially it’s a sad day for the sheriff’s office,” he said.
Heintz is charged with advertising for and receiving child pornography. Advertising for child pornography is a federal crime punishable by a minimum of 15 and up to 30 years in prison. Receiving child pornography includes a sentencing range of five to 20 years in prison. If convicted, the crimes also carry a mandatory of at least five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and registration as a sex offender.
A statement by the officers’ union, the Fraternal Order of Police, reads:
The FOP has been made aware that Federal charges have been filed against a Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy. The FOP is not privy to the details of this criminal investigation; however, if he is found guilty of these offenses then we will take swift action in removing him from membership. The Fraternal Order of Police does not tolerate this type of behavior.Keith Ferrell, president, Fraternal Order of Police