The Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control announced the arrest of Andrew Thomas Blackmon, 26, of Independence, Mo., on Thursday, Feb. 24 for possession of child pornography.

The arrest was the result of an investigation conducted by members of the Division of Drug and Crime Control’s Digital Forensics Investigative Unit, the Western Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, and the Missouri Digital Forensic Center.

On Thursday, Feb. 24 investigators executed a search warrant at Blackmon’s residence on East 6th Terrace South, Independence, Missouri, and were unable to contact him. Later that day investigators contacted Blackmon on Clay Edwards Drive, in North Kansas City, Mo.

During their contact with Blackmon, child pornography was located on his cellular telephone and computer equipment. Blackmon was arrested and transported to the Clay County Jail.

On Friday, Feb. 25, the Clay County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office formally charged Blackmon with possession of 1st degree child pornography.

The investigation by the Division of Drug and Crime Control, West Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, and the Missouri Digital Forensic Center is ongoing. Blackmon was held at the Clay County Jail, with a bond of $10,000 and later released. The Patrol was assisted by Independence, Kansas City, and Gladstone police departments.

The Division of Drug and Crime Control encourages internet users to promptly report to the Patrol or local law enforcement anyone who attempts to engage in unwanted, inappropriate, or sexualized communications with children.

The Digital Forensics Investigative Unit is partially funded by the Missouri Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The Missouri Digital Forensic Center is a joint effort of the Missouri Department of Public Safety, Missouri Department of Social Services, and the Missouri National Guard Counterdrug Program, and is coordinated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

--The above charge is mere accusation and is not evidence of guilt. Evidence in support of this charge must be presented before a court of competent jurisdiction whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.