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St. Pete police officer charged with possessing and distributing child porn

According to an arrest affidavit, Officer Matthew William Joseph Enhoffer sent and received child porn starting around July 17.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A police officer with the St. Petersburg Police Department was arrested on federal child porn charges Thursday morning. 

According to an arrest affidavit, Officer Matthew William Joseph Enhoffer sent and received child porn starting around July 17, 2018.

Enhoffer worked at the St. Petersburg Police Department from May 2010 and originally resigned in Oct. 2013 to go to another state, Chief Holloway said during a press conference Thursday afternoon. He came back to the St. Pete department in January 2015, the police chief added. 

Investigators say a cyber tip line was submitted and an investigation began after two suspected child exploitation images were uploaded through an app from a username "thehoff727." The IP address was linked to a residence on 87th Avenue North in St. Petersburg, the affidavit states.

Investigators say a federal search warrant was issued for Enhoffer's home on Sept. 11, 2019. after investigators reviewed two of the images on Sept. 7. Detectives say several images of children were found during a forensic exam of a MacBook Air with the username "Matther Enhoffer."

The department took his weapon, uniform and car, but said no charges had yet been filed. 

“You hope it’s not true. You don’t want it to be true. And then you see the report," Holloway said. 

According to the affidavit, Enhoffer sent text messages with child porn images on or around July 17. The person responded back and forth with Enhoffer, who sent further child porn images, the affidavit adds.

Enhoffer has been arrested and charged with receipt and distribution of child porn and possession of child porn. 

He's currently on administrative leave without pay. The office of professional standards is looking into past cases he's worked to see if there any correlations. 

Holloway adds Enhoffer has never been a school resource officer, worked in family resources or anything specifically with kids. 

He received the Medal of Valor in 2015, but it has since been taken away, the police chief added. 

"We're going to get past this," Holloway said. He mentioned he knows the hard work of the department and is worried the rest of the officers will get judged based on the incident. 

He's expected to have a first appearance hearing in federal court Thursday. 

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