Abbotsford Police seize 23 computers and 31 hard drives from child porn suspect

A man who was investigated in Abbotsford a decade ago for possible child pornography offences had 23 computers and 31 hard drives seized from his home last week.

A man who was investigated in Abbotsford a decade ago for possible child pornography offences had 23 computers and 31 hard drives seized from his home last week.

Const. Ian MacDonald said it could take up to a year for the Abbotsford Police Department’s tech crime investigator to look through all the items and determine what kinds of images and/or videos they contain.

Because charges cannot be laid until the investigation concludes, the man, who is in his late 60s, has not been named.

MacDonald said the suspect has previously been convicted of sexual assault and sexual interference in the Lower Mainland, although he did not have more details.

He said he could not reveal in which area of Abbotsford the man lives, other than in “a typical residential community.”

MacDonald said police are holding back specifics about the man’s identity because they don’t want members of the public to take vigilante action.

“It’s important for us to let people know (that he’s out there) … but we do not have sufficient evidence at this time to lay a charge.”

MacDonald said he first encountered the suspect 10 to 12 years ago, when the man was investigated for child pornography offences.

MacDonald, who was a patrol officer at the time, was in the man’s home and saw several computer monitors and video cameras, including ones facing the bed.

“It was one of the most creepy things I’ve ever seen,” he said.

The man has lived in Abbotsford for several years, but left for a period in the early 2000s before returning.

He was brought to police attention again recently by law enforcement officials elsewhere who traced a computer that had accessed or sent child porn.

Those officials then alerted the Abbotsford Police Department, which obtained warrants to search the address of the traced computer. Those warrants were executed on July 27 and 29.

MacDonald said police will continue to monitor the suspect while the investigation continues.

“This individual will not fall off our radar,” he said.