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Franklin County Sheriff Fires Deputy Daniel Heintz Over Child Porn Charges

Franklin County jail in downtown Columbus.
Paige Pfleger
/
WOSU
Franklin County jail in downtown Columbus.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office has fired Deputy Daniel Heintz, an employee at the county jail, who was federally charged this week for advertising for and receiving child pornography.

On Friday, a federal judge ordered Heintz to be detained pending the conclusion of the case.

A federal complaint released on Wednesday accuses Heintz of soliciting and receiving "several hundred" images of images of children, including some as young as toddlers, being sexually abused or involved in sexually explicit activities.

Heintz was arrested February 11 at the Franklin County Corrections Center, as the FBI executed a search warrant at his Columbus home, seizing his phone, laptop and other devices.

"An affidavit details that Heintz allegedly discussed sexually abusing a minor to whom he had access," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a press release. "It is alleged he discussed photographing the minor in the victim’s sleep and also talked about sexual conduct he would commit as well as sexual abuse the Illinois man could commit to the minor victim."

Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin said he placed Heintz on administrative leave when he learned of the investigation earlier this month, and on Friday, his office announced that Heintz had received his official notice of termination.

In the termination letter, provided to WOSU by the Sheriff's Office, Baldwin wrote that Heintz violated a number of regulations including "obedience to laws and ordinances," "unbecoming conduct," and "obscene or immoral conduct."

The firing is effective Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021.

"While everyone arrested is presumed innocent, someone charged with a felony loses the privilege of working for the people of Franklin County," Baldwin said in a statement Wednesday.

The two charges, advertising for and receiving child pornography, are federal crimes carrying possible sentences of 15-30 years in prison and 5-20 years in prison, respectively. If convicted, Heintz would face up to a lifetime of supervised release and required registration as a sex offender.

Gabe Rosenberg joined WOSU in October 2016. As digital news editor, Gabe reports breaking news and edits all content for the WOSU website, as well as manages the station's social media accounts.