Smith County ESD2 employee arrested on child pornography charges

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SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – An employee of Smith County Emergency Services District 2 has been arrested on child porn charges.

Silas Franks, 25, of Terrell has been charged with possession/promotion of child pornography, a second-degree felony, and is in the Smith County Jail on a bond of $250,000.

Smith County Sheriff’s Investigators received information in early October from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) concerning a possible child pornography case. The information provided by NCMEC contained numerous photos of child pornography depicting victims of a very young age.

Smith County investigators got subpoenas for social media sites as well as cellphone and internet providers. Through the information they received, they identified Franks and learned that was an employee of the Smith County Emergency Services District 2.

The investigation also revealed that Franks was using the IP address (Wi-Fi) of the Red Springs Fire Department while on duty.

Search warrants turned up several thousand photos and chat logs of a sexual nature from Snapchat. Investigators say the photos depicted images of child pornography containing victims of a very young age.

Investigators obtained an arrest warrant Thursday and arrested Franks Friday.

Franks 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.

Smith County Investigators received full cooperation and assistance from members of Smith County Emergency Services District 2.

Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith said SCSO became a partner agency with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about six months ago in an effort to better combat these kinds of crimes in East Texas.

This is an ongoing multi-jurisdictional investigation.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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