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Teacher indicted in federal child porn case
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Teacher indicted in federal child porn case

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A Davenport elementary school teacher arrested last month on allegations of child pornography was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury.

Michael Loren Ross, 43, will be arraigned July 27 on charges of receiving and distributing child pornography and possession of child pornography, according to court records. 

Federal prosecutors also are seeking forfeiture of any property used to commit or to promote the commission of the alleged offenses. That property, according to the indictment, includes computer hardware and computer storage devices. 

The filing of the indictment supersedes a criminal complaint that was filed June 23 in U.S. District Court, Davenport.

According to court documents:

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 court documents. 

He was arrested June 26. On July 7, Magistrate Judge Stephen B. Jackson Jr. denied prosecutors' request for Ross to be in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending trial.

The judge ordered that Ross must live in a transitional housing facility and abide by a curfew and remain on GPS monitoring, among other conditions of his pretrial release.

Ross, a fifth-grade at Wilson Elementary School, was placed on administrative leave.

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