An officer with Dallas Police Department Auto Theft Unit was arrested last week and is accused of uploading sexually explicit images and videos of children, officials say.
According to federal court documents, Sr. Cpl. Daniel Lee Collins allegedly uploaded sexual photos of underage girls to various Google accounts using the City of Dallas internet network.
Three images were flagged by Google in May and June, according to a federal criminal complaint.
One of the accounts Collins used was under the name, Dan Collins, while the other one was associated with a "John Smith," court documents state.
Authorities say the images were flagged to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which then filed a Cyber Tipline report with the Dallas Police Department.
In the report, they said one of the Google profiles included a photo of a man in a police uniform, who was later identified as Collins.
According to officials, an IT specialist traced the IP addresses that were used to upload the child pornography images to the City of Dallas internet network. Investigators also stated that the same Google accounts were also accessed from Collins' house in Tarrant County.
After conducting an investigation, authorities executed a search warrant for Collins' home and workplace, federal court records show.
During an interview with detectives, Collins allegedly admitted to using the accounts to upload the images and using an iPhone to save the images, court documents state.
Collins has been placed on administrative leave by the police department pending the results of an internal investigation.
He has been released pending trial and must comply with conditions, which include no unsupervised contact with minors, no possession of pornographic material or any internet-capable devices.
He also had been placed on a house curfew and is not allowed to travel outside the Northern District of Texas without permission from pretrial services, according to federal documents.
If Collins is convicted, he faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
"Law enforcement officers take an oath to protect and serve," said U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox in a written statement.
"This defendant allegedly undermined that vow, preying upon our most vulnerable. The Department of Justice will not tolerate the exploitation of children – especially by our public servants," Cox said.