A Davenport elementary school teacher admitted to police that he received and distributed child pornography, according to a federal complaint unsealed Monday.

Michael Loren Ross, 43, who was dressed in a black T-shirt, khaki shorts and shackled at the ankles, made his first appearance Monday in U.S. District Court, Davenport, on charges of possession of child pornography and receipt of child pornography.

A federal public defender was appointed, and Ross will be back in court Thursday for a detention hearing and a preliminary hearing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Melisa Zaehringer requested that Ross remain in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service at least until Thursday’s hearing, saying he is a flight risk and a “danger to himself or others.”

Magistrate Judge Stephen B. Jackson Jr. granted the request.

The possession charge is punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison, and the receipt charge is punishable by five to 20 years in prison.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint:

On March 27, a special agent with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation received a tip through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that a user named “Mike Ross,” who had a Hotmail email address, uploaded a video depicting child pornography to his Dropbox account on Feb. 7.

The agent executed a search warrant several days later for the Dropbox account, which was opened by Ross in July 2013, and found that it was a paid account and that files were being uploaded from at least three devices.

The account had numerous files that depicted prepubescent females performing sex acts.

On June 19, Davenport Police Detective Erin Pape obtained a search warrant for Ross and his home, garages/storage areas on his property and vehicles owned or operated by him.

Officers executed the search warrant the following day and seized Ross’s cellphone, laptop, digital camera, camcorder and a thumb drive.

Ross, who was home during the search, admitted that he possessed child pornography and that he both received and distributed it.

He told officers that he exchanged child pornography through Dropbox links being shared on Kik, a freeware instant messaging mobile application.

Ross also admitted that he used his phone and laptop to access the files and that he did so for his own sexual gratification, according to the complaint.

An arrest warrant was issued on Friday, and Ross was taken into custody Monday, according to court records. 

Davenport Community School District spokeswoman Dawn Saul confirmed Monday night that Ross has been placed on administrative leave. Saul said he was hired in August 2013 and had worked at Buchanan and Wilson elementary schools.

The federal complaint does not indicate that any of the minors depicted in child pornography involved students in the school district.

(Linda Cook contributed to this report.)

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