Crime
9:30 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Customs & Border Protection employee charged with possession of child pornography

An employee with the Customers and Border Protection has been charged with possession of child pornography.

U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced Wednesday that 40-year-old Steven Metz of Hamburg, N.Y., was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with possession of child pornography.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie P. Grisanti, who is handling the case, stated that between January 2012 and March 2012, federal agents conducted an investigation into a suspect involved in child pornography in Phoenix, Arizona.

According to the complaint, the suspect sent a series of emails to the defendant, which contained both images and videos of prepubescent children involved in sexual acts.

A search warrant was executed on August 31, 2012 for email accounts belonging to Metz.

Agents uncovered various emails depicting the defendant both receiving and distributing images and videos of child pornography involving prepubescent children.

On October 25, 2012, a search warrant was executed at the home of the defendant.

According to the complaint, Metz denied seeing child pornography and claimed he had nothing to do with the alleged email account.

Agents seized two computers from the residence and an initial review uncovered child pornography on both computers.   

Metz was working as a local Homeland Security official considered an expert on terrorism.

Metz appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah McCarthy in Buffalo on Wednesday. He is being held without bail pending a detention hearing which is scheduled for November 15 at 1:30 p.m.   

Hochul says there might be more information in court on why the opposition to Metz being on the street.

The chief prosecutor wouldn't say if it involved the man's own family or what may have been a suicide attempt after his home was searched October 25.

The search grew out of probing an Arizona man who allegedly distributed child porn involving very young children and adult men.

Hochul says Metz' involvement and his federal job brought on heavy investigations.

"There's agents not only of homeland security investigations, HSI, which is a group somewhat separate from CBP, Customs and Border Protection.  But there are also other law enforcement and agency representatives more in the nature of an internal affairs division which are alerted," said Hochul.

Metz has been suspended from his job and faces up to ten-years in prison and a $250,000 fine.