KY Firefighter Charged with Possession of Child Pornography

Feb. 13, 2023
The Owensboro fire station was searched in connection with the case.

James Mayse

Messenger-Inquirer, Owensboro, Ky.


Feb. 11—An Owensboro Fire Department firefighter was arrested Friday with 20 counts of possessing sexually explicit material involving minors.

Clifford G. Brandon III, 53, of Maceo was arrested Friday morning on 18 counts of possession of material depicting a sexual performance by a minor over age 12 but under age 18, and two counts of possession of material depicting a sexual performance by a minor under age 12, according to a release by the Owensboro Police Department.

A separate statement released by City Hall said OPD detectives conducted a search Friday morning at Fire Station 2 on East Parrish Avenue. Officer Dylan Evans, public information officer for OPD, confirmed that Brandon was a member of the city fire department.

OPD reports say a detective attached to the state Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force opened an investigation, and received 21 photos from Brandon's Google Drive account. Reports say Google forwarded the photos to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, who assigned the case to KYICAC.

Reports say officer Josh Alsip, a forensic interviewer with OPD, wrote he examined the photos and "determined that five of the photos depicted images of children under the age of 18 and two of the photos (depicted) children under the age of 12."

Alsip was able to confirm the phone number and email associated with the Google account belonged to Brandon, reports say.

Search warrants were served Friday morning at Brandon's home and at the fire station, reports say. When Brandon's phone was downloaded and analyzed, "three photos depicting explicit photos of children under 18 were located in (Brandon's) deleted files," reports say. A search of Brandon's iPad found 10 additional "sexual images of children under 18 years" of age, reports say.

Brandon was interviewed at OPD, where he requested legal counsel, and was arrested, reports say.

Possession of material depicting a sexual performance under age 12 is a class C felony. Possession of material depicting a sexual performance by a minor under age 18 is a class D felony.

City human resources director Josh Bachmeier said Brandon has been a firefighter with OFD since 2009. City Fire Chief James Howard said he was unable to comment on the incident.

City Hall's statement said Brandon has been suspended without pay pending the city's disciplinary hearing procedure.

In a prepared statement, City Manager Nate Pagan said: "We are aware of the situation that occurred at a city fire station Friday morning and trust in the Owensboro Police Department to conduct a thorough investigation. The city does not condone this behavior and will move forward with an internal procedure to determine disciplinary actions for the employee."

Brandon was being held Friday in the Daviess County Detention Center.


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