accusations | 

Former Galway chef turned US cop forced minors to send sex abuse images, FBI agents say

Derrick Flanagan from Ireland stands accused of child sex crimes
Derrick Flannigan

Derrick Flannigan

Clodagh MeaneySunday World

An Irishman working as a cop in the United States threatened minors to send him sex abuse images, FBI agents say.

Derrick Patrick Flanagan (36), who worked as a Sheriff’s deputy in Hancock County, Mississippi, previously worked as a sous chef in a Galway Hotel from 2016 to 2018.

The former Galway Institute of Technology student appeared at a hearing charged with sending and receiving sexually explicit images and videos of minors across jurisdictions through the Internet.

It comes after investigators discovered not only did he have child sex abuse images on a laptop, but he also used Snapchat to contact minors where he demanded they send him images.

He also allegedly sent minors unsolicited pictures of his genitals.

In some cases, he allegedly threatened the minors if they didn’t send videos and pictures of what he wanted.

FBI agents said that authorities have identified many of the alleged victims and sometimes paid for the videos and images he received.

He is already charged in a state child exploitation case and faces an additional federal charge for sending and receiving child pornography across state lines.

He is also charged with possession of videos of children, ages 12 and under, engaged in sex acts.

The original charges came in February after a detective at Hancock County Sheriff’s department got a tip from the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children in November 2020 about the presence of child pornography in a Dropbox account under the fake name of John Adams.

Following an investigation, the internet address attached to the account was tracked down to Flanagan’s home.

When questioned, he brushed off the allegations and said the internet connection belonged to a former roommate, and subsequently the investigation was closed.

However, another tip report came in about child sex abuse images connected to another Dropbox account belonging to Flanagan.

After investigators confirmed the allegations, they got a warrant to search Flanagan’s home where FBI agents seized a laptop and multiple mobile phones.

Two more mobile phones were found in the Irishman’s possession when he was arrested in February following the search.

During an initial search of the laptop, FBI special agent Hillary Ladner said that at least 10 videos and an image depicting children engaged in sex abuse acts.

Prosecutor Andrea Jones asked the judge to deny bail for Flanagan, branding him a flight risk as he is facing a lengthy sentence and has been in regular contact with his family in Ireland.

She pointed out that he has multiple passports, one Irish and one for the United States.

Derrick Flanagan’s attorney Rufus Aldridge said that his client should be entitled to bail pending a grand jury indictment.

He pleaded for his client to be let out on bond with restrictions, including an ankle monitor and noted that both his passports are expired.

However, Judge Robert Myers denied his request, citing that he is a safety risk to the community and remanded him into custody.

Today's Headlines

More World Crime

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices