Harris County deputy accused of possession of child porn

By Megan Kennedy - Content Editor, Phil Archer - Reporter

HOUSTON - Federal, state and local police arrested a veteran Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputy early Thursday morning at his home in Kingwood. 

SWAT officers forced their way into the home of Donald Dehnert, 46. Dehnert  is now charged with three counts of possession of child pornography and has been relieved of duty.  

The search warrant was executed by officers from the sheriff’s office, the Grand Prairie Police Department, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Texas Department of Public Safety along with Texas Rangers and all members of the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

They searched the house for several hours and confiscated several computers and other items that were photographed and tagged as evidence. 

The investigation began in north Texas, according to the Grand Prairie Police Department. A Grand Prairie detective who was monitoring the internet found evidence of Dehnert allegedly attempting to solicit a minor for sex in an online chat room.

Dehnert is a veteran deputy who has worked for the sheriff's office for 25 years, beginning in 1992. He worked as a jailer. On Thursday afternoon, he was booked into the jail on the three felony charges, which carry a potential punishment of up to 30 years in prison. 

Dehnert is from a family of police officers.

His father retired as an investigator with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office in 2007. His mother is a retired police sergeant and his wife and brother currently work for the sheriff's office.

Investigators said the investigation is continuing.

Grand Prairie police said they intend to present evidence to the Dallas County district attorney, and that Dehnert could soon face more charges in connection with the case there. 

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