U of M IT Worker Facing Federal Child Porn Charge

Christopher Scott Pfoff Photo: Hennepin County
Christopher Scott Pfoff

March 07, 2018 05:08 PM

A 28-year-old Minneapolis man and University of Minnesota employee has been charged in federal court with distribution of child pornography.

Court records show Christopher Scott Pfoff is scheduled for a preliminary detention hearing in federal court Thursday morning.

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He has already been charged with seven counts of child pornography possession in Hennepin County.

Employment records show Pfoff is employed as an information technology specialist at the U of M.

The university Wednesday confirmed it was aware of the matter.

"The University is aware of the charges filed against Christopher Pfoff by the Hennepin County Attorney," a statement read. "The arrest was brought to the University's attention on March 1 by the Child Exploitation Task Force.

"We take allegations of this nature seriously. We have not yet had an opportunity to discuss his employment status with him, and will have no further updates at this time." 

The criminal complaint filed in Hennepin County states that between June 4, 2017, and Jan. 21 of this year, a Minneapolis police officer located and downloaded multiple child pornography images from two IP addresses located in Minneapolis. It is alleged later investigation showed Pfoff as the subscriber assigned to those IP addresses.

According to the complaint, on March 1, Minneapolis police officers executed a search warrant at Pfoff's address. He reportedly did not immediately come to the door after being informed officers had a search warrant, and allegedly finally opened the door only after officers had attempted to force it open.

When he was searched, a flash drive and phone were allegedly found in his pockets, and a Sony laptop computer was reportedly found on his bed.

The complaint states Pfoff told officers he did not share his internet with anyone and admitted using the peer-to-peer program that had been identified during the undercover operation. He reportedly said he downloaded files using that program but denied downloading child pornography.

The complaint alleges that when officers questioned him about a prior investigation for child pornography in Maryland, Pfoff elected to leave the apartment, as federal court documents show he had been informed he was free to do.

The federal court documents state officers found paperwork regarding the expungement of criminal records in regard to that matter.

But when leaving, the complaint alleges he tried to grab the flash drive that had been in his pocket. Federal court documents allege he attempted to flee out the door when asked if he'd taken the flash drive and had to be wrestled to the ground. The missing flash drive was found inside his water bottle.

It was at that point he was placed under arrest.

A second computer, a Dell laptop, was reportedly found on top of the kitchen cabinets, the complaint states.

According to the complaint, preliminary forensic evidence located more than 80 child pornography videos on the flash drive and Dell laptop. At least 12 of the files recovered were compared with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's known victim database, meaning the children shown are known to be child victims, the complaint alleges.

Among the federal court documents is an employment history showing Pfoff working as a direct service provider with REM Ramsey. The criminal complaint states he works as a mentor/personal care assistant for a disabled minor male.

REM Ramsey Executive Director Pat Masyga said Pfoff's employment there ended in November of last year, though his last shift came months before.

"REM Ramsey recently became aware of the arrest of a former employee of our organization," Masyga said in a statement. "This individual's employment concluded in November 2017. The individual was hired to work as a direct care employee with adults. His last shift worked was in June 2017. His employment ended due to the fact that he had not accepted any shifts in over three months."

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Frank Rajkowski

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