Foster-care supervisor charged in child porn case

A Lac La Biche foster care supervisor is in legal trouble after FBI in Connecticut tipped Alberta police about someone distributing child pornography over the Internet.

The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team’s Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit says they were tipped off by FBI Agents in August that someone was distributing child pornography through the World Wide Web from a home in Lac La Biche, a small town 221 km north of Edmonton.

And after a lengthy investigation, the team obtained a search warrant and seized a number of computers and external hard drives from the home Thursday.

A 62-year-old man, who was not at the home, was later arrested by Mounties in Bonnyville.

Daniel Quiring Stoesz has been charged with possessing and making available child pornography. He is scheduled to appear in a Lac La Biche provincial courtroom on Monday.

Police also later seized computer equipment from Stoesz’s workplace after making the arrest.

Kathy Telfer, a spokeswoman with Alberta Children and Youth Services, said the man was not working closely with children.

He was working for the last 10 years in the regional foster services in St. Paul for roughly 10 years, said Telfer.

Stoesz is responsible for supervising a group of foster support workers, said Telfer.

“In cases like this, the policy is the employee would be relieved of their duties pending the outcome of the investigation,” said Telfer, who wouldn’t say if Stoesz has been suspended with or without pay.

Sgt. Mike Lokken with the child exploitation unit, says the case still requires further investigation as members are still unclear on how much child pornography was allegedly contained in the seized computer equipment.

“To what degree he is involved in this, that is to be determined,” said Lokken.

But he says the incident should not raise alarms for foster parents and those concerned about the province’s foster care system.

“This is one allegation among thousands of good people (in foster care),” said Lokken.

When asked by the Edmonton Sun if the tip from the FBI is part of a much larger investigation, Lokken declined to comment.

Alberta’s ICE units have investigated 426 cases and laid a total of 247 charges against 201 people from April 2010 to March 21, 2011.

jeff.cummings@sunmedia.ca

@SUNJeffCummings