Former Smith County ESD 2 employee sentenced to 18 years in prison on child porn charges

Local News

SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KETK) A former Smith County Emergency Services District 2 employee will spend almost two decades in prison after pleading guilty to child porn charges.

Silas Franks, 25, of Terrell, plead guilty to seven charges of possession with intent to promote child pornography in the 7th District Court Thursday morning. He will spend the next 18 years in prison.

According to a warrant, Franks allegedly uploaded pictures with victims as young as 2 years old while he was on duty. He had been under investigation after Tyler police received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

None of the victims are from East Texas and none were met through his work in ESD2. Franks was let go from the department following his arrest.

The case was transferred to the Smith County Sheriff’s Office and detectives subpoenaed Snapchat and AT&T for Franks’ records.

Snapchat sent more 2,000 files from Franks’ account “silas94” and it was found that he chatted with multiple people about trading child porn. He also talked about how he was into bestiality.

The records sent by both Snapchat and AT&T confirmed that Franks was on duty at the time of the alleged upload of the pornographic images on July 15. The investigation also revealed that Franks was using the IP address (Wi-Fi) of the Red Springs Fire Department while on duty.

Frank had frequently represented the Red Springs Fire Department at community and school events. In 2018, he ran for a seat on the Hawkins City Council.

He also is a member of the Freemasons.

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