Columbus man facing child exploitation charge after phone search

Caleb Kirts. Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.

A Columbus man is being accused of child exploitation after allegedly uploading pornographic images of children.

According to the Columbus Police Department, in February officers stopped 30-year-old Caleb Kirts driving a vehicle that had been reported stolen out of Indianapolis. Kirts told police that there was evidence on his cell phone about the vehicle and police seized the phone.

After obtaining a search warrants, officers with the city’s intelligence Led Policing Unit searched the phone for evidence about the stolen vehicle, but also discovered the child pornography. The National Institute for Missing and Exploited Children received several tips in 2022 and 2023 that Kirts had uploaded pornographic images.

A search warrant was served on Kirts’ home in the 3900 block of North County Road 500W by officers with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and multiple electronic devices were seized. Police arrested Kirts at a truck repair business on East State Road 46 and he is facing a preliminary charge of child exploitation.

The investigation remains ongoing and more charges are possible.

The Columbus Police Department, the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office and the Bartholomew County Prosecutor’s Office joined the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in July of last year.