Man arrested after child pornography found on hard drive

Posted: Updated:
Luke Hinkley By Andrew Michalscheck Luke Hinkley By Andrew Michalscheck

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- A Valley man was arrested this week after police allegedly found child pornography on his old hard drive.

In September 2011, the Surprise Police Department was contacted by two people who said they had purchased an external hard drive from a neighbor named Luke, who was later identified as Luke Hinkley.

According to court documents, the pair said they were cleaning the hard drive when they found hundreds of images of what they described as child pornography.

The hard drive was turned over to police, and authorities went on to obtain a search warrant for Hinkley’s residence.

Several items were seized during the search of Hinkley’s home, including a computer tower.

A search warrant was then obtained for a forensic search of the hard drive and the computer tower.

On June 17, 2013, police said a report from the DPS computer examiner revealed that there were numerous photos discovered that depicted child pornography.

On Thursday, Hinkley responded to the Surprise police station for an interview.

Police said during the interview Hinkley admitted that he was using a lot of drugs back when the investigation began in 2011.

He allegedly admitted to searching the Internet for images of “young girls,” hoping to find photos of girls between the ages of 16 and 18.

Hinkley said he wound up saving the images on his hard drive, and then eventually traded the hard drive for drugs.

According to police, Hinkley explained that he originally started looking at the photos with the hope that he could figure out who was manufacturing them and report that person to police.

He said he eventually found himself searching for the images for his own benefit.

Hinkley is now facing 13 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.