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Man accused of child porn possession faces new federal charges

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. –A Mishawaka man who was facing state charges for possession of child pornography and child exploitation is now facing federal charges.

In July, Matthew Ridenour was accused of possessing child pornography and creating two videos of underage boys using video chat services, according to court documents.

Tuesday, the eight original charges were dismissed as he faces new federal charges of transportation, distribution, and possession of child pornography.

According to federal court documents, investigators traced a video shared on an online “peer-to-peer” network from an IP address traced back to St. Joseph County. That IP address was allegedly used by Ridenour.

A search warrant was served on July 11 at Ridenour's home in Mishawaka.

Investigators confiscated an Apple iPhone, two external hard drives, and a laptop, according to the probable cause affidavit.

During the search, Ridenour agreed to speak with investigators. He allegedly admitted to using the internet to seek out and download child pornography.

After the items were seized, investigators searched each electronic device.

On the iPhone, investigators found 3 images of child pornography and 23 images of child erotica, reports said.

Court records say on one of the external hard drives, 31 incomplete downloads of suspected child pornography were found, 123 images of bestiality, 112 images of child erotica, and 15 video files of child pornography.

A second external hard drive included 329 user created videos, 162 images of child erotica, and 9 images of child pornography.

On the seized laptop, an additional 23 images of child pornography, 69 photos of child erotica, 119 files with names suggesting child pornography, 38 incomplete downloads with names suggesting child pornography and 99 files that were shared online that have names suggesting child pornography, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Investigators said two of the videos located on his devices were created by Ridenour during online video chats with two different boys, one in January 2017 and one in February 2017.

Ridenour’s next federal court appearance has not been scheduled.

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