Second man arrested on child pornography charges
An Ellensburg man pleaded not guilty Thursday to child pornography charges in what Kittitas County Prosecutor Greg Zempel described as a “fairly sophisticated operation.”
Aaron Dollarhide, 31, of Ellensburg pleaded not guilty to eight counts of possession of child pornography during an arraignment in Kittitas County Superior Court. Ellensburg Police officers arrested Dollarhide on Wednesday in relation to a similar case involving Patrick Kopczynski, 49, who faces 10 counts of possession of child pornography.
Dollarhide is a registered sex offender and was convicted of second-degree child molestation in the past, Zempel said in court.
Superior Court Judge Scott Sparks set Dollarhide’s bail at $25,000 and Dollarhide will be back again in court on Jan. 17. Dollarhide was ordered to not to have any contact with Kopczynski upon his release.
“This is serious business. It could mean life imprisonment,” Sparks said when setting bail. “So it’s a worry that you might not come back to court.”
The Ellensburg Police Department became suspicious of Kopczynski after a cyber tip on July 18 notified them that someone had downloaded child porn into a Google account, said Deputy Prosecutor Jodi Hammond. Officers took out a search warrant and investigated the Google account.
The officers received sufficient information to tie the Google account to a mobile home where Kopczynski and Dollarhide lived, Hammond said during Kopczynski’s hearing. Officers then took out a search warrant on the trailer and were able to locate several devices inside, which they confiscated and found images of child pornography, Hammond said. Officers then took Kopczynski into custody and continued to investigate whether Dollarhide was involved. A week later the EPD collected sufficient evidence to take Dollarhide into custody as well.