A Portland man was arrested on June 9 after it was allegedly discovered that he possessed child pornography.
John Robert Dickmann, 46, faces a series of charges as the investigation is ongoing.
The case stemmed from images that were discovered by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The organization’s cyber tip line sent a report to the Metro Nashville Police Department after three pornographic images of a young, female child were discovered on a Snapchat account.
“They confirmed that three separate photographs of child pornography had been downloaded,” Portland Police Chief Jason Williams said. “Whenever that happens, they find the area it’s in and send it to ICAC (the Internet Crimes Against Children task force). The nearest ICAC is in Nashville. They take their findings and send it up to us.”
According to the incident report, the Metro Nashville Police Department subpoenaed the phone number and IP address associated with the Snapchat account. It led officers to a Saul Drive address in Portland in which Dickmann was residing.
“We don’t waste any time,” Williams said. “You don’t know who you’re dealing with. You don’t know if they move around a lot or if they might move. We move as fast as we can on it and try to get a resolution.”
On the morning of June 9, officers arrived at that residence to serve a search warrant. While there, Dickmann pulled into the yard, and officers advised him as to why they were at the residence.
“To me, when he got to his house and saw us there, I think he immediately knew why we were there,” Williams said.
Dickmann told an officer that he did not make the pornographic material and said that unknown individuals would send him images.
He did confirm that the Snapchat account in question was his and that the phone belonged to him.
“Initially, when we first showed up, we were dealing with three photographs,” Williams said. “We had a search warrant, so in a cursory glance, we saw at least 150 on his phone.”
Dickmann was shown one of the child pornographic images that was associated with the Snapchat account, and Dickmann acknowledged that the image was sent to him by an unknown subject. Dickmann also told officers that he would go to child pornography sites, but he did not recall how many times this occurred.
Dickmann had a cell phone in his possession, and it was seized. Dickmann provided officers with the code, and a search of the phone led to the discovery of more than 178 child pornographic images and/or videos.
Two of the images that were reported by the National Center for Missing and Exploiting Children were on the cell phone.
Williams said that there was no way of knowing if any of the individuals in the images and videos were from the area.
“We haven’t been able to identify any of them yet,” Williams said. “These pictures are notorious for not having faces. These are not faces that you can really take and show around. We don’t have anything to lead us to believe that kids are local.
“This sounds bad to say … but we hope he got all of them off the internet. We hope he’s not gotten them in Portland, but we just don’t know.”
There was a Kik Messenger app on his phone, and in the app, it appeared that Dickmann would obtain and trade child pornographic images with others.
Dickmann’s phone along with a computer and a tablet were seized by law-enforcement personnel.
Dickmann’s prior criminal history involved misdemeanor driving charges.
“It’s one of those things to where when you deal with folks like this, you never know, when just looking at the pictures and videos is going to be enough anymore,” Williams said. “You never know when they may find their first victim. Who knows if this prevented how many victims down the road. This is defintely a situation to where, even with eveyrthing that people disagree on … everyone can agree, children are the most innocent. Any time we can protect a child, everybody can agree that it’s a good thing.”
In addition to being charged with a class D felony for sexual exploitation of a minor, due to the fact that Dickmann allegedly shared the child pornographic material, he is also is charged with aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor.
Dickmann’s bond was set at $175,000, and his court date is slated for Aug. 26.
As of last Friday, he remained in the Sumner County Jail.