A 32-year-old Yelm man was arrested Dec. 20 and charged with five counts of dealing in child pornography.
The arrest is a result of an investigation conducted by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
The center contacted the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office about an “urgent” case in which they were in the process of obtaining a search warrant and on their way. When the sheriff’s office detective realized the case fell in Yelm, he contacted Yelm Police Detective Bill DeVore.
An email was sent detailing probable cause for the warrant. In it was a conversation obtained on Tumblr between the Yelm man, Aaron Christopher Combs, using account Sirtinytim69 and another user Jerseyboy92c. In the conversation, Combs and the other user were allegedly discussing the repeated and continuous physical abuse of a 10 or 11-year-old girl who was a family member of Combs.
The discussion covered abuse dating back to when the girl was just an infant up until the previous summer when she was 10.
The investigation also found a second account where Combs allegedly exchanged sexually explicit images.
In preparation for the search, DeVore checked the address on 91st Avenue to see if a vehicle was parked outside. The home appeared dark with no vehicle visible from the road.
Detectives decided to call Combs and advise him police were on his road, claiming to be investigating a burglary.
He was home and agreed to assist in any way needed. A Yelm police sergeant approached the home and entered with Combs. Additional officers arrived with the search warrant and he was detained.
Combs allegedly admitted to owning the accounts in question. His computers and devices were seized. The search also yielded several hard drives and thumb drives.
According to the police report, Combs was responsive and calm up until a detective read him the conversation on Tumblr at which point he requested his attorney.
Combs was booked into Thurston County Jail for possession of child pornography in the first degree.
He was arraigned on Dec. 31 on five counts of dealing in depictions of a minor engaged in sexual explicit conduct in the first degree. A jury trial is currently set of Feb. 25. Bond is set at $30,000.