October 11th, 2013
Edmonton…The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team’s Northern Alberta Internet Child Exploitation Unit (ICE) has laid 5 charges against a 51-year-old Edmonton man following an investigation that began last year.
Northern Alberta ICE Unit, assisted by members of the Southern Alberta ICE Unit, Blackfalds RCMP, Ottawa Police Service, the National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre in Ottawa, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the United States began an investigation following complaints about a man who was believed to be committing a number of child pornography and luring offences on several popular social media and chat websites.
Further investigation led ICE investigators to arrest a suspect, with the assistance of the Edmonton Police Service and St. Albert RCMP at his Northwest Edmonton residence on the morning of October 3rd. A search warrant was executed at his residence and ICE seized several electronic devices for forensic examination. Charges have been laid in relation to one alleged female victim who is 15 years of age. She is not from the Edmonton area.
Darrell STEPPKE is charged with one count of accessing child pornography, one count of possessing child pornography, one count of distributing child pornography, one count of luring a child, and one count of counseling to commit an offence of sexual interference.
The investigation produced information which led to ICE executing a second search warrant at an Edmonton residence on the morning of October 10th however, no further suspects are believed to be involved at this point.
STEPPKE remains in custody awaiting his next appearance in court October 16th in Edmonton.
If members of the public have more information on this or any child exploitation offence, they are encouraged to contact cybertip.ca, Crimestoppers, or their local police.
ICE investigates the sexual exploitation of children through the Internet and works to reduce harm through public education and prevention programs.
ICE is an ALERT team established and funded by the Government of Alberta to bring together the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources to tackle serious and organized crime. Nearly 400 municipal police, RCMP and sheriffs work for ALERT.
Media inquiries may be directed to:
Sgt. Mike Lokken
Northern Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) Unit
Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT)