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Santa Margarita resident arrested in child pornography possession case 

Camillia Lanham

A Santa Margarita resident and Santa Maria High School teacher was arrested on Jan. 22 for alleged possession and distribution of child pornography, according to a press release from the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office.


Detectives with the Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Team arrested 53-year-old Michael David Smith after receiving a tip on Jan. 14 that child porn was being downloaded and distributed from a computer at a residence in Santa Margarita. The detectives served a warrant at the residence on Jan. 22 and seized computers, laptops, external hard drives, memory cards, and DVDs.


According the Sheriff’s Office, detectives reported finding multiple images of pre-pubescent children engaged in sexual acts on one of the hard drives. The alleged images appear to have been downloaded from the Internet and distributed, according to the press release, and the remainder of the seized electronics will be checked for child pornography.


The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District was notified of Smith’s arrest the evening of Jan. 22.


“We have placed the employee on leave,” a statement from the district said. “We are cooperating with law enforcement and will continue to do so during the investigation.”


Smith is also the assistant varsity coach of Santa Maria High’s boys’ basketball team, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Athletics website lists Mike Smith as a former varsity coach for the school.

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