Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, in cooperation with the Moab City Police and Grand County Sheriff’s Office, arrested a man at his home in Moab on Tuesday, Aug. 30.
Kenneth Duane Ellis, 53, was charged with possession of child pornography.
Ellis is a registered sex offender within the state of Utah. He was convicted for sexual abuse of a child, a second degree felony on June 14, 2002. He was released from prison on Dec. 13, 2005, according to the Utah Department of Corrections.
Ellis was interviewed at his home by Alan Conner from the State Attorney General’s Office and Det. Craig Shumway of the Moab Police Department. During the interview Ellis told the officers he had been using the Internet to obtain child pornography since 2010. He admitted to downloading child pornography to his computer in his camper trailer as recently as two days prior to the execution of the search warrant, according to the complaint filed by the US District Court.
Agents obtained a warrant on Monday, Aug. 29 after an investigation that determined Ellis had been offering child pornography via a peer to peer file sharing program.
Jeffrey S. Ross, a special agent from the FBI who is now assigned Utah Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, reviewed images and videos of child pornography on Ellis’ computer that included depictions of prepubescent females posed nude or being sexually assaulted by adult males.
There are 23 registered sex offenders in Grand County, according to the Utah Department of Corrections. Three of the 23 are now incarcerated at the Grand County Jail.
Other residents living in busses and trailers on the property off Spanish Valley Drive were searched by agents during the arrest as part of protocol.
Mike Grindstaff of Moab was drinking a beer with his friend Glen Pupura on the property when FBI agents arrived. He said he saw a brand new truck with red and blue lights in the windshield drive onto the property.
As soon as Grindstaff stood up the truck doors opened and FBI agents with guns came running toward him and his friend.
“We put our hands up. I was like ‘I don’t have any weapons,’” Grindstaff said. “They came in fast. It was intense.”
Officers told Grindstaff that they were looking for another man on the property named Kenny. The agents checked all residences on the property
“They asked Glen a bunch of questions about his computer. Took some of his CDs and checked out to make sure there was nothing illegal,” Grindstaff said. “We were babysat for about three hours while they were searching the rest of the property.”
“After awhile they relaxed,” Grindstaff said. “I didn’t mind the commotion, because they were doing their job.”
Grindstaff said that Ellis had spoken to other people on the property about pornography.
“The guy was telling people he was in the business of creating anime porn,” Grindstaff said.