Richardson‘s Google Hello photo tradin
g user name. The email address
associated with that account was ―email@example.com‖.
A man who
was arrested in the September 2007 bust said that ―cowboysspades‖ had sent him ―homemade‖ child pornography images during the three months prior to
his arrest. The ICE put an agent on Richardson, and waited. In December
2007, ―cowboysspades‖ sent one kiddie porn pic to the undercover agent, along with five other images of what is classified as ―child erotica‖ –
that it‘s not dirty enough to be
porn, but it showed a clothed child in sexual poses. In February 2008, the same undercover ICE agent got another five images of
child erotica from ―cowboysspades.‖ Again, the photos showed clothed children
in sexual situations. However, there was no doubt about intent
Richardson was clearly using the photos as teasers for other, more explicit pictures to follow.
From the US Attorney‘s Office statement on this case:
Further forensic investigation revealed additional chats between cowboysspades and others. In one, cowboysspades received and distributed dozens of images of child pornography including several images of infants engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Investigators dotted their i‘s and crossed their Ts, matching up Richardson‘s
user names and email addresses with Google records, e-mail servers and IP addresses.
It was pretty easy to link ―cowboysspades‖ and the ―girlpedolover‖ email accounts to a Steve Richardson of Royse City, Texas, the U.S. Attorney‘s
office said. Especially since one of the IPs used came from the church. On Wednesday, Pastor Steve was arrested as his office at the church. After his arrest, Richardson admitted to an ICE agent that he used the name
―cowboysspades.‖ He also admitted to trading child pornography on his work
uter, according to the U.S. Attorney‘s office.
So.. wait. He was trading kiddie porn FROM CHURCH? Of course he was. Right
after Children‘s Church, no doubt.
Immediately upon hearing of Richardson‘s arrest, the North Texas Conference
of the United Methodis
t Church suspended him, saying, ―The church holds the
sanctity of the pastoral office and the place of the church as an environment of
safety and security for all an absolute value.‖
Before taking over the ministry at First United Methodist of Royse City, Richardson pastored for five years at the First United Methodist Church in
Boyd, Texas. I know the Methodists like to move ‗em around every so often, but it makes one wonder if there was a little red flag somewhere, doesn‘t it?
The investigation into Pastor Steve Richardson is ongoing. Currently, he is charged with transporting child pornography. Other charges may be forthcoming.