Bruce Cameron Burns – Respiratory Therapist downloading Child Porn for over 10 years

A Greeley respiratory therapist was nabbed last week as part of a nationwide child pornography ring that could eventually snare more than 200 other people across the country.

Bruce Cameron Burns, 44, was arrested Thursday and charged with three counts of sexual exploitation of a child. Weld County Sheriff’s Office deputies said they searched his home and found more than 7,000 items containing images of children as young as toddlers engaged in sexual activity with other children and adults.

Sheriff’s investigator Daren Ford said Burns admitted he had been downloading child pornography from the Internet since the mid-1990s.

“The defendant explained that he had a problem dealing with child pornography,” Ford wrote in an affidavit.

Burn is in jail in lieu of a $250,000 bond. He is set to appear in Weld District Court at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 31.

The case so far has netted 23 arrests nationwide, Ford reported. It stems from a Pennsylvania investigation that started with a man named Brian Keith Benner, who pleaded guilty last year to 10 felony charges of sexual abuse of children by creating, disseminating and possessing child pornography, according to the Times Herald in Norristown, Penn. Benner, a registered sex offender convicted of raping a 4-year-old girl in 1999, was found in the summer of 2007 to have more than 3,000 images of child pornography at his home in Montgomery County, Penn.

In the investigation against Benner, Pennsylvania authorities found evidence of the pornography through a photo sharing Web site.

According to a Weld sheriff’s affidavit, the Pennsylvania investigation found that images were being shared with Burns through the site.

In November, sheriff deputies searched Burns’ west Greeley apartment and seized two computers, floppy disks, CDs and DVDs, zip disks and video tapes, many that were stored in a locked suitcase in his closet. They found more than 7,000 images and more than 20 movies of children involved in sexual acts with adults and children, according to the affidavit. Burns told deputies he shared photos with others, but he said he could not remember all of the people he’d communicated with.

The affidavit states that Burns worked at North Colorado Medical Center. NCMC spokesman Gene Haffner confirmed that Burns worked as an educator in the respiratory therapy department, and he is still employed as such.

Haffner said he was not aware of Burns working at all with children.

“From what I know at the moment, his role is an educator of adult staff at NCMC,” Haffner said.

If convicted, Burns could face up to 12 years in prison and would have to register as a sex offender.

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