Canadian bust ends with Christmas Eve child porn arrest in Florida

  • Mark Boxley, WFTV.com
Dec 26, 2017
Carnival Cruise Line

Nearly a year after authorities arrested a man on a parole violation in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, investigators arrested another man, accused of sharing child pornography with the parolee, as he disembarked from a Carnival cruise ship in Florida.

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Authorities launched an investigation on March 22, 2016, after a man was arrested on a probation violation in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, according to a federal arrest report.

The man, who was not identified, had been sharing child pornography with dozens of people using an app on his iPhone, investigators said. In June 2016, Canadian authorities ordered the app’s makers to release information on 78 users who had shared child pornography with the man.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents on Saturday identified Michael Paige Palmer, 40, as one of the people to share child pornography with the man, according to investigators. He was on a Carnival cruise ship, and authorities told customs officials in Port Canaveral, Florida, to inspect his digital devices after he disembarked.

During the inspection, authorities said they found Palmer, a resident of Virginia, with a USB drive that had child pornography on it. He had downloaded the files from the app three or four days before his cruise, the arrest report said.

Palmer told investigators that he started downloading child pornography in 2012, according to the report.

“He was intrigued and addicted for the first few months, but later became disgusted with the images and stopped downloading and viewing the images,” the report said, noting that Palmer admitted he never deleted the files.

Palmer told investigators that several years later, he started to download the child porn again, “but (he) claimed that he later began reporting the (app) chat groups where the child pornography was being distributed,” the arrest report said.

Palmer did not report the child pornography to law enforcement, but instead alerted administrators of the mobile application, investigators said.

Palmer was charged with a federal count of possession of child pornography.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.