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Squamish firefighter charged with possessing, distributing child pornography

John Taavo Martin has been charged with two child pornography offences. .
John Taavo Martin has been charged with two child pornography offences. . Squamish Firefighters Association / Facebook

Squamish RCMP says one of the city’s serving firefighters has been charged with child pornography offences.

Police said John “Taavo” Martin, 43, was arrested following a tip from the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.

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That prompted Squamish RCMP and the Provincial Integrated Child Exploitation Unit to execute a search warrant, leading to the eventual arrest of Martin on June 27.

Protecting children from being victims of online pornography
Protecting children from being victims of online pornography

Martin is now facing one count each of possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography.

The District of Squamish said Martin was placed on leave when he was arrested and that his benefits and pay had been cut off when charges were laid on Oct. 31, pending the outcome of his trial.

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“Public safety is the District’s absolute top priority and criminal record checks are required for all firefighters of Squamish Fire Rescue,” said spokesperson Christina Moore.

“We are a close-knit community — both within our organization and within the greater community, and the news of these serious allegations will be very difficult to comprehend by many.”

The RCMP says Martin has been released from police custody on conditions, and is due back in court on Nov. 27.