January 22, 2018

Ogemaw man indicted on child porn charges

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WEST BRANCH — Craig Trout was indicted by a federal grand jury on one charge of knowingly possessing child pornagraphy Dec. 20.

Trout, 38, of West Branch was arraigned in U.S. District Court before Magistrate Judge Patricia Morris Nov. 30 on federal charges of possession of child pornography.

In a grand jury indictment, jurors make a determination based on the validity of the charges but not the guilt or innocence of the plaintiff.

Trout had previously been charged in Ogemaw County in 82nd District Court Nov. 6. The local charges were dropped because of double jeopardy.

According to the affidavit submitted in federal court, the cloud-based storage hosting company DropBox Inc. submitted a cyber-tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Oct. 25, 2016.

The tip was regarding a user name, of a profane nature, that allegedly was associated with Trout’s email address.

A detective with the Michigan State Police and FBI specializing in internet crimes against children stated in the affidavit that search warrants were issued to DropBox, Google and Verizon to further identify the suspected user of the DropBox account. Information obtained from the warrants identifies Trout as the alleged primary user on the account, according to court documents.

Detectives interviewed Trout Nov. 5, during which he allegedly confessed to being the owner of the DropBox account and uploading child pornography to the account.

By trade, Trout was identified as an over-the-road truck driver, and detectives allegedly linked Trout’s activity to times he worked at job sites located in Eastern Michigan.

Trout is currently out on bond, despite Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Rawsthorne presenting his case to prevent it.

Trout is scheduled for an arraignment hearing Jan. 2, 2018. If he pleads not guilty at the arraignment, his bond will continue and the court will set a trial schedule at the completion of his arraignment.

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