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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Dispatcher arrested on porn charge

Friday, March 29, 2013

A practical joke turned serious Thursday for a Bedford County Sheriff's Department dispatcher charged with a child pornography-related charge.

Michael Spray, a night shift employee for the past four years, was charged with one count of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor after a fellow worker found obscene images of young girls on his cell phone.

The fellow employee was off duty and answered the office telephone while Spray, 52, was away from the dispatch center for a few moments, Detective Sgt. Charles Kimbril said.

"He saw his cell phone and decided to make a picture of himself so Mike would see a picture of him smiling at him when he picked up the phone," Kimbril said. "He decided not to make the picture but looked at his photo gallery, saw pictures of young girls and notified his supervisor."

Sheriff Randall Boyce, Chief Deputy David Williams Jr. and Kimbril obtained a search warrant for the phone and, to avoid any chance of favorable treatment, brought Shelbyville police detective Carol Jean into the investigation.

The detectives checked the phone and found "a large number" of obscene photos of underage girls -- all downloaded from the Internet and none made by Spray, Kimbril said.

"He admitted he had been doing it for the last four or five years, just typing in search terms on the Internet at random," according to Kimbril.

Spray told officers he had more images on his laptop computer at his home. Kimbril was unable to access any photos on the computer, which will be sent along with the phone to the TBI crime lab.

Records show Spray has never been arrested, Kimbril said, and a background check was performed before he was hired by the BCSD.

No department equipment was used to obtain the photos, Kimbril said.

Spray is free on $50,000 bond.