December 18, 2017

West Branch man arraigned on federal charges of child porn

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BAY CITY — Craig Robert Trout, 38, of West Branch was arraigned in U.S. District Court before Magistrate Judge Patricia Morris Nov. 30 on federal charges of possession of child pornography.

Trout had previously been charged in Ogemaw County in 82nd District Court Nov. 6. If the case proceeds at the federal level, the local charges will have to be dropped, according to Ogemaw County Prosecutor LaDonna Schultz.

According to the affidavit submitted in federal court, the cloud-based storage hosting company DropBox Inc. submitted a cyber-tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Oct. 25, 2016.

The tip was regarding a user name, of a profane nature, that allegedly was associated with Trout’s email address.

A detective with the Michigan State Police and FBI specializing in internet crimes against children states in the affidavit that search warrants were issued to DropBox, Google and Verizon to further identify the suspected user of the DropBox account. Information obtained from the warrants allegedly identifies Trout as the primary user on the account, according to court documents.

Detectives interviewed Trout Nov. 5, during which he allegedly confessed to being the owner of the DropBox account and uploading child pornography to the account.

During the investigation, it was discovered by detectives that Trout’s email address was included in another cyber-tip that had been submitted by the company Hotmail around April 29, 2015.

By trade, Trout was identified as an over-the-road truck driver, and detectives allegedly linked Trout’s activity to times he worked at job sites located in Eastern Michigan.

Trout is scheduled for a detention hearing Dec. 4, where it will be decided if he will be let out on bond.

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