A firefighter in Squamish is facing two child pornography charges following an investigation by the RCMP’s Provincial Integrated Child Exploitation Unit.
John Taavo Martin, 43, was charged with possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography on Oct. 31, Mounties said in a news release Tuesday.
A search warrant was executed on June 27 after police received information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the United States.
Martin was later arrested and has since been released on a number of conditions ahead of his next court appearance set for later this month.
In a statement emailed to Black Press Media, District of Squamish spokesperson Christina Moore confirmed that Martin was placed on administrative leave, with pay, following his arrest. His salary and benefits were cut off once charges were laid. Their reinstatement depends on the outcome of the trial.
“Public safety is the district’s absolute top priority and criminal record checks are required for all firefighters of Squamish Fire Rescue,” the statement reads.
“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.”