BOURBONNAIS – A local man’s arrest Monday would not have been possible without the help of a very uniquely trained K9 officer.
Monday afternoon, Bourbonnais Police, in collaboration with local agencies, arrested 35-year-old Michael Mathis on multiple counts of Child Pornography. Mathis is a native of Peotone who was living in Bourbonnais at the time of his arrest.
The arrest was aided by multiple agencies including the Will County High Technology Crimes Unit Investigators, Megan Brooks and Dan Simenson, were aided by Cache, a black Labrador trained to detect hidden electronic devices that may be used by suspects to store illegal data such as child pornography.
Cache became the first dog in Illinois to aid in such an arrest under the new training. The uniquely named dog’s name by definition means: a collection of items of the same type stored in a hidden or inaccessible place.
The first such dog trained to detect items like hard drives, thumb drives, smartphones and computers in the US was trained under Connecticut State Police in 2012.
Mathis is now being held at Jerome Combs Detention Center on one-million dollars bond after being charged with 15 counts including dissemination of child pornography (class X felonies), two counts of possession of child pornography videos (class 2 felonies), and two counts of possession of child pornography photos (class 3 felonies).
Investigators say charges from the arrest began in 2022 with an undercover Crimes Against Children detective in North Carolina who infiltrated and documented activity in an online chat group. Tips were forwarded from there to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children who reached out to investigators at the Will County State’s Attorney’s High Tech Crimes Unit.
Prosecutors say if Mathis is convicted on all charges, he could face up to 464 years in jail.