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Memphis officer held over child porn on phone, police say

By ArkansasOnline

This article was published December 27, 2013 at 1:07 p.m.

Matthew Ashmore

A Memphis police officer has been arrested after authorities found child pornography on his cellphone, the Memphis Police Department said in a statement Friday.

Police said they received a complaint Thursday from a person who found a cellphone at a business and discovered it contained several photos of children involved in sexual activities with unidentified men.

An investigation later showed that the phone's owner was Matthew Ashmore, 26, who has worked at the department since July 2009, authorities said.

Police arrested Ashmore and charged him with sexual exploitation of a minor.

"It really sickens me to find that someone who has been sworn to protect the citizens and uphold the law would prey on our innocent children," Memphis Police Department Director Toney Armstrong said in a statement. "Let this be a reminder to anyone partaking in such abominable behavior. We will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law."

Ashmore was assigned to the South Main police station and has been relieved of duty with pay pending the investigation's outcome, the department said.

An investigation is ongoing.

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