(FOUNTAIN, Colo.) — An arrest affidavit reveals details of an investigation into an active duty solider who was arrested for felony charges related to the alleged Sexual Exploitation of Children, according to the Fountain Police Department (FPD).

Active duty soldier arrested for Child Sexual Assault charges
Courtesy of Fountain Police Department; Josef Smith

26-year-old Josef Smith of Fountain faces the following charges:

  • Sexual Exploitation of Children-Distribution Material (F4)
  • Sexual Exploitation of Children-Video, Moving Visual Images, Motion Picture (F4)

Fort Carson confirmed that Smith was currently enlisted in the army at the time of his arrest, according to the affidavit.

In August 2022, an FPD detective was notified of a CyberTip received by the Colorado Springs Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) unit. The CyberTip flagged a home located in the 11000 block of Berry Farm Road, located in Fountain.

According to the affidavit, Smith used Tumblr, a social networking site similar to Twitter or Facebook, where he allegedly created a blog and uploaded several images of Child Pornography. The Tumblr account had “several followers,” per the affidavit.

On December 2020, Tumblr Inc. reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) of apparent Child Pornography being shared on the user account that allegedly belonged to Smith.

An email address linked to the account had been used to upload files to several other users within a group. The files each contained images of pubescent or prepubescent children exposing explicit areas of their bodies, states the affidavit.

The detective traced the IP address used to upload these images to Smith’s suspected Gmail account, which was also linked to the Tumblr blog. The IP address was from the home located near the 11000 block of Berry Farm Road, which is owned by Smith, according to arrest documents.

According to a report sent by Tumblr, the user noted in the Cybertip logged into the account approximately 329 times between June 2016 and June 2021. The status of the account was listed as being ‘terminated.’

On Jan. 12, 2023, three search warrants were executed on Smith, his home and vehicle. He was stopped and detained by officers as he was seen leaving his home.

During an interview, Smith admitted to having a Tumblr account “approximately a year to a year and a half ago,” but could not recall the username associated with the account. When asked if Smith’s Gmail account would have any mention of the suspected Tumblr account, Smith said he “was not sure,” according to the affidavit.

In the interview, Smith said he, “did not look at that intentionally but may have stumbled upon it… just scrolling through different blogs.” The affidavit stated that Smith also told the detective he “would not intentionally look at that kind of thing,” and denied disseminating any child sexual abuse material.

During the course of the search warrant, Smith’s cell phone was found to have approximately 500 digital images and several videos containing child pornography. Smith was arrested early Wednesday morning on Feb. 8 and booked into the El Paso County Justice Center.

Detectives are seeking the public’s assistance in locating additional witnesses or victims who may have information pertaining to this case. If you have any information, call Sergeant Sheyna Marshall at (719) 382-6918.

To remain anonymous, contact the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at (719) 634-STOP (7867) or www.crimestop.net. If your information leads to a felony arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.