Crime - Sacto 911

‘Josh’ chatted anonymously about molesting a child. A dog’s Facebook photo helped lead to his arrest.

An Elk Grove man indicted in December on federal child porn charges for allegedly requesting and receiving images of a minor engaging in sex acts faces a Wednesday court date.

Christopher C. Kinney was arraigned Dec. 21 in San Francisco federal court on a single count of conspiracy to produce child pornography and returns next week on the indictment, U.S. attorney’s officials in San Francisco said this week.

Kinney’s charges sprang from the Sept. 29 arrest of Krisha Viramontes of San Francisco on child pornography charges by San Francisco police investigators, according to a federal arrest affidavit filed last month.

Nice video, I’d love to see more, how old (?).

Christopher C. Kinney, aka ‘Josh,’ about a sexually explicit image sent to him. The child was 15.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security investigators in an 11-page arrest affidavit in December alleged that Kinney, using the name “josh,” met Viramontes online in chat sessions uncovered on Viramontes’ smartphone by San Francisco police.

U.S. attorney’s prosecutors allege Viramontes and Kinney from late June to late September 2016 conspired to coerce a 15-year-old boy filmed by Viramontes into performing sex acts and engaging in sexually explicit conduct on video.

A federal grand jury in San Francisco indicted Viramontes in December on six counts including possession and production of child pornography, conspiracy to produce child pornography and extortion, according to U.S. attorney’s prosecutors.

Investigators in the affidavit say Viramontes and Kinney began chatting June 24, with the two talking of child molestation and exchanging child pornography. During that first session, Viramontes sent Kinney sexually explicit images of the teen along with images of himself and the teen, according to the affidavit.

“Nice video, I’d love to see more, how old,” Kinney typed in one exchange, according to the affidavit.

Viramontes replied, “15.”

By the end of the first June chat session, Kinney, masquerading as “josh,” had asked Viramontes to send more videos of the teenager. Kinney received the child sex videos into September, investigators alleged.

San Francisco investigators mining Viramontes’ phone for clues and contacts after his arrest found an Elk Grove phone number that led to Kinney, according to the affidavit.

Search warrants of Kinney’s phone and internet provider followed. Investigators also obtained a warrant to track his cellular phone and combed through internet protocol logs on an instant messaging application designed to ensure anonymity that investigators alleged Kinney used to chat with Viramontes.

But it was an unlikely clue in December that may have helped lead to Kinney’s arrest, the affidavit showed.

A San Francisco police investigator scanning a social media account’s profile picture connected to “josh” spotted a small dog wearing a brightly colored collar. The investigator recognized the tiny pet as a match for a dog shown in Kinney’s Facebook photos.

Darrell Smith: 916-321-1040, @dvaughnsmith