A band teacher at a Putnam City School was arrested Tuesday, accused of possessing and distributing child pornography.
Police say 38-year-old Eric Mowery is facing six counts of possessing child pornography and one count of distributing child pornography.
Members of the OSBI Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit arrested Mowery at his home in Oklahoma City. The case was first initiated by a Guthrie police officer conducting an undercover investigation into the sharing of child pornography over the Internet.
According to the investigation, Mowery distributed several files containing pornographic images of children to a Guthrie police officer.
ICAC task force members from the Guthrie Police Department, Edmond Police Department, OSBI, and OSBI's Computer Crimes Unit served a search warrant at Mowery's residence Wednesday morning, where several computer-related items were seized.
An on-scene preview of the computer-related items revealed child pornography on at least six items.
Mowery is a band director at Hefner Middle School. At this point, there is no indication that any of the images contained in Mowery's computer equipment are of local children.
Putnam City Schools released the following statement regarding this investigation:
A Hefner Middle School teacher was arrested on Wednesday, Dec. 19, on several counts related to child pornography. The district first became aware of concerns when members of the Oklahoma Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force came to the school before the school day began on Dec. 19.
Eric Mowery began working in the district in August 2010 as a band director at Hefner Middle School. As all middle school band directors do, he also assisted with a high school band each morning – in this case, the Putnam City North High School band.
Every teacher hired to teach in Oklahoma must by law undergo a fingerprint background check. That print along with other vital information is run through an OSBI and FBI criminal background check. Teachers who come to teach in Putnam City undergo an additional background check.
This matter is an investigation by the Oklahoma Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
The district will cooperate with the Task Force in every way possible. Questions about this case should be directed to Jessica Brown at the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
The district is not aware of any allegations concerning inappropriate conduct related to students. However, students or parents who believe they have relevant information to share should contact Putnam City Campus Police at 787-3621.