Child porn tip from Australian police leads to Michigan man’s arrest

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A 2012 photo of Westley Keyes from the Michigan Sex Offender Registry.

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (WOOD) — A Michigan man is facing child pornography charges after allegedly taking explicit photos of children and posting them online.

According to a complaint filed in federal court, the Queensland Police Service in Australia found over 55 images shared by a username associated with Battle Creek, Michigan, resident Westley James Keyes, 39, on a dark web child exploitation chat site in 2020.

Metadata from the photos, taken between May and August 2020, told Queensland police that the location where the images were taken was in or near Battle Creek.

In September 2021, Queensland police notified the Homeland Security Investigations unit in Grand Rapids of their discovery.

Federal agents say he took photos of two girls, a teenager and a child between the age of 2 and 4. Along with images, explicit and abusive chat messages from the username associated with Keyes were found on various dark web boards, authorities say.

Both the girls were interviewed by authorities and confirmed that Keyes had taken inappropriate photos of them, court documents show.

A special agent spoke with the mother of one of the victims who said that she was aware of Keyes’ previous crime connected to child pornography and a relative told her about concerns they had about photos that Keyes was taking of children.

Keyes was arrested on probable cause by the Homeland Security Investigations unit.

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