Cross-Border Child Exploitation Investigation Implicates Two Men

Edmonton… A joint investigation between ALERT Internet Child Exploitation, United States Homeland Security, and Knoxville Internet Crimes Against Children Unit has resulted in the arrest of two men for child sexual exploitation offences.

An Alberta man from the Kikino Metis Settlement, located 200 kilometers northeast of Edmonton, was allegedly sharing child sexual exploitation material with an inmate serving time in Knoxville, Tenn.

Peter Ritchie, 44, was arrested by the Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit on August 26, 2016 with assistance from RCMP Lac La Biche members. Ritchie was charged with possession, distributing, and making child pornography. Ritchie is a member of the Kikino Metis Settlement Fire Department, but at this point in the investigation ICE has no suspicion that any contact offences took place.

Ritchie allegedly shared extremely graphic child exploitation materials with Tennessee inmate Christopher Grippe, 28. Grippe allegedly smuggled an electronic device into the prison and the two men met via a social media application. Knoxville Internet Crimes Against Children Unit intervened and arrested Grippe.

Knoxville Police Department Chief David Rausch said, “To smuggle an electronic device into a prison reveals the risks that a child predator will take to victimize a child.  This investigation should also serve as a reminder to all child predators that our Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force along with ALERT Internet Child Exploitation and United States Homeland Security knows no borders when it comes to tracking down people who chose to victimize children.”

Grippe was in the midst of serving an eight-year sentence for sexual exploitation of a minor. He has been indicted for distribution and possession of child pornography and appeared before a Federal Grand Jury on September 20, 2016. Grippe’s arraignment is set for October 3 with his charges carrying a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years, and up to 40 years.

Ritchie is scheduled to appear in Lac La Biche court on October 31.