NEWS HEADLINES

Trustee arrested for child porn

By Kristen Tribe | Published Saturday, November 4, 2017
Tags:

Longtime Northwest School Board member Mel Fuller was arrested Tuesday for possession of child pornography.

Mel Fuller

According to Denton County jail records, Fuller, a Trophy Club resident, was arrested by Trophy Club police. He was released the same day after posting a $25,000 bond. On Wednesday, he resigned from the NISD Board.

Fuller first came under scrutiny due to his connection to an internet user under investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), as outlined in an affidavit for probable cause, which the Messenger obtained from the Trophy Club Police Department through an open records request.

On Dec. 9, 2016, OPP contacted the Child Exploitation Investigations Unit (CEIU) of the Homeland Security Investigations Cyber Crimes Center regarding a user – PASTOR4YNG1 – who posted on a photo sharing website images and comments indicating he had sexually abused the children depicted in the images. Website administrators deleted the user’s profile, but the user created two more profiles with different user names and posted the same images.

The PASTOR user listed a profile for Kik, a text messaging app, and Wickr, an encrypted messaging application, through which he had sent child sexual abuse material, according to the affidavit. Investigators reviewed the data and images associated with people communicating with this user and discovered one of them was Fuller.

The affidavit states Fuller communicated with the PASTOR user Dec. 13, 17, 20, 21 and 26 in 2016. On Dec. 20, he received 12 files – 11 images and one video – and at least two images and the video appear to be child sexual abuse material, according to the affidavit.

Kik records indicate Fuller set up the account in 2012.

The case was referred to the HSI Dallas Cyber Child Exploitation Group (CCEG) and a state search warrant was executed by the Trophy Club and Flower Mound police departments at 6:05 a.m. Aug. 31, 2017, at Fuller’s residence.

The affidavit states Fuller immediately answered the door and after being informed of the search warrant he admitted to using the Kik account to receive child pornography via the internet from the PASTOR user. “Furthermore,” the affidavit states, “Fuller admitted to recently downloading pictures of a family friend’s minor female daughter from Facebook and that he was using the same pictures to communicate with another individual on Kik about abusing the aforementioned minor.”

At the end of the warrant execution, investigators showed Fuller two prints of the child pornography sent from the PASTOR user, and Fuller initialed them, acknowledging he had received those images via his Kik account.

A Samsung cell phone and two computer hard drives were seized during the search and turned over to Dallas CCEG for forensic analysis to search for evidence or contraband of child pornography.

The affidavit also says a Homeland Security Agent reached out to Fuller through his Kik account and asked if Fuller had any images or videos he wanted to share.

“Fuller then began sending the agent images of a teenage girl in a bikini,” and he indicated the two engage in regular sexual contact, according to the affidavit.

Fuller has been on the NISD board since 2008 and was re-elected in May 2017, running unopposed. His term is not up until 2020.

NISD released a statement Thursday saying the school board plans to discuss options regarding the vacancy.

“They can appoint or hold a special election,” said NISD Executive Director of Communications Emily Conklin.

Leave a Reply. Note: As of March 24, 2011, all posted comments will include the users full name.

WCMessenger.com News and Blog Comment Guidelines

You must be logged in to post a comment.