ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A decorated St. Petersburg police officer was in federal court Thursday afternoon after being arrested by Department of Homeland Security agents.
Officer Matthew Enhoffer was charged with possession and distribution of child pornography, according to documents filed in court.
The investigation began in July when an unspecified web application submitted a tip to a law enforcement hotline. The report said that two suspected images of exploited children were uploaded to the app.
Agents obtained a warrant to search Enhoffer's home on September 11. During the search, agents seized a MacBook that contained several images of child pornography in addition to messages with an unidentified person discussing the images.
During a press conference Thursday afternoon, St. Pete Police Chief Anthony Hollway choked back tears while discussing the case.
"When a police officer takes the oath, he or she takes the oath that they are going to protect the citizens out there, especially our youth.," he said. "Today Officer Enhoffer tarnished our badge."
Enhoffer has been on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation, since the department first found out about the allegations.
"We're talking about kids here, and if this allegation is true, I don't want him here," Chief Holloway said.
Enhoffer declined to comment following his court appearance.