A 69-year-old Edmonton man who previously worked as a volunteer youth coordinator has been charged with child pornography offences.
The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit began its investigation in December after receiving information from a cybertip.
Through the investigation, police seized computers and electronic devices, on which they found “hundreds of thousands of child sexual abuse materials,” ALERT said in a news release Friday.
The full analysis of the material is expected to take months, according to ALERT.
“The sheer volume, and the content of child sexual exploitation materials seized is quite disturbing, even to our most experienced investigators. Our primary concern is identifying potential victims, and providing the supports and resources they need,” said ICE Insp. John Respet.
“This is an extensive collection — very disturbing,” added ALERT spokesperson Mike Tucker.
David McDowell was arrested on Jan. 12 and charged with possession of child pornography.
Police said McDowell previously worked as a volunteer youth coordinator for an Edmonton-based medieval recreation and culture group.
Because of the suspect’s previous involvement with youth groups and evidence gathered through the investigation, ICE said it is concerned there may be child victims in the Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver areas.
“We don’t want to narrow the scope of this investigation right now. I don’t want to create the impression this is only limited to his involvement with the medieval group. We’re casting a wide net and looking for all information,” Tucker said.
“A concerning case and right now our focus is identifying those victims but also providing those supports that they may require.”
Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to contact the Edmonton Police Service at 780-423-4567. Anonymous information can be submitted to Crime Stoppers or cybertip.ca.