In October of 2019 the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) began an in investigation into the online exploitation of a child. The results of the investigation lead the FBI Agents to a Fort Erie resident.

As a result of the information gained from the FBI's investigation, members of the Niagara Regional Police Service's Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) Unit and the Technological Crimes Unit executed a search warrant on Tuesday November 19, 2019 at a Fort Erie address.

51-year-old Thomas Connelly of the Town of Fort Erie is facing the following alleged charges:

-        Two Counts of Possession of Child Pornography Section 163.1(4) of the Criminal Code of Canada.

-        One Count of Accessing Child Pornography Section 163.1(4.1) of the Criminal Code of Canada.

-        One Count of Making Written Child Pornography Section 163.1(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada.

-        One Count of Distribute Child Pornography Section 163.1(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada.

-        Two Counts of Make Arrangement for Sexual Offence Against a Child Section 172.2(1)(a) and 172.2(1)(b) of the Criminal Code of Canada.

 

Connelly is currently being held in custody pending a bail hearing at the Robert S.K. Welch Courthouse in the City of St. Catharines on Wednesday November 20, 2019.

The Niagara Regional Police Service is a member of the Provincial Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on the Internet and conducts investigations into Internet Child Exploitation Offences in partnership with numerous Ontario Police Services. This investigative initiative has been made possible by a grant from the Ministry of the Solicitor General.

Members of the public can report suspicious Internet activities relating to child exploitation to the Niagara Regional Police Service, or online at www.cybertip.ca. Internet safety tips for parents, children and Internet users are also available on the Cybertip website.