SMITH

SMITH

A Vine Grove man was arrested Tuesday night and charged through an undercover investigation by the Kentucky State Police Electronic Crime Branch with 36 felony charges related to child sexual exploitation.

Clifford J. Smith, 33, is lodged in the Hardin County Detention Center. He is being held in lieu of a partially secured $25,000 bond.

He was arrested as the result of an undercover Internet Crimes Against Children investigation. The KSP Electronic Crime Branch began the investigation after discovering Smith sharing files of child sexual exploitation online, according to a KSP news release.

The investigation resulted in the execution Tuesday of a search warrant at a Vine Grove home. Electronic equipment believed to have been used was seized and taken to KSP’s forensic laboratory for examination, according to the release.

The investigation is ongoing.

Smith currently faces three counts of promoting a sexual performance by a minor under 18 years of age, a Class C felony punishable by five to ten years in prison, if convicted. He also was charged with 13 counts of first offense distribution of matter portraying sexual performance by a minor and 20 counts of first offense possession of matter portraying sexual performance by a minor, all Class D felonies punishable by one to five years in prison, if convicted.

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