• Last modified 344 days ago (Aug. 10, 2023)


Internet monitors help bust child porn suspect

Staff writer

A tip from a Sedgwick County task force that investigates online sexual exploitation of children ultimately led to the Aug. 2 arrest of a Peabody man charged the same day with 39 criminal counts.

Miles Watson Rickard, 20, Peabody, formally was charged with 34 counts of Internet trading in child pornography and five counts of sexual exploitation of a child.

Undersheriff Larry Starkey said deputy Aaron Christner started investigating Rickard after getting information from the task force Jan. 10.

The first of several search warrants was executed March 27, Starkey said.

“It takes several search warrants,” he said.

Rickard’s computer was seized, and a forensic data search was done. Many people do not know how much data remains on a computer or cell phone after a file is deleted, Starkey said.

According to the charges, the alleged crimes all happened in the span of a week, between Nov. 8 and Nov. 14.

Internet trading in child pornography is an off-grid felony, meaning if he is convicted, Rickard could be sentenced to life in prison.

Simply trading — not producing — online pornography can result in the charge, Starkey said.

Sexual exploitation of a child is a level 5 felony. If convicted, Rickard could be ordered to serve as little as three years’ community corrections or as much as more than 11 years in prison, depending on any past criminal history.

“What concerns me is, for every one we get, how many others are out there?” Starkey said.

Last modified Aug. 10, 2023