Amarillo Police Officer Arrested on Three Additional Counts of Possession of Child Pornography

Former Amarillo Police Department Officer Earnest McDonald III was arrested Monday and booked in the Potter County Jail on three additional charges of possession of child pornography, according to a Potter County Arrest Summary that was released Tuesday morning.

Records show McDonald posted a $30,000 bond and was released the same day.

McDonald was previously indicted on June 28 by a Potter County Grand Jury on two other charges of possession of child pornography.

Monday’s arrest brings the number of possession of child pornography charges against him to five.

A third-degree felony for possession of child pornography carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, according to the Texas Penal Code.

Court documents from the two indictments in June stated that on June 30, 2016 McDonald did, “intentionally or knowingly possess visual material that visually depicted a child young than eighteen years of age engaging in sexual conduct.”

Then on Aug. 15, 2016, a sergeant at Amarillo Police Department was assigned a CyberTipline Report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The center had received a report from Twitter concerning “some images that contained possible child pornography.”

The images were from a profile that was linked it to a Facebook account registered to McDonald, according to court documents.

After confirming that the images depicted child pornography, investigators interviewed McDonald at APD headquarters, and McDonald “made admissions to viewing child pornography.”

McDonald also reportedly admitted to owning the Twitter account and uploading child pornography to Twitter.

McDonald had been with APD since 2008 and was suspended indefinitely following the initial arrest. He was fired on August 9, 2016.