Public Safety

Dating app connection turns in Tama County man for child pornography

If convicted, faces up to 20 years in federal prison

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Tama County man was charged Monday with child pornography after he told another man on a dating app that he had sexually abused children and wanted to pass along videos to him.

Kelby Daniel Fowler, 30, of Traer, during an initial appearance Monday in U.S. District Court was charged with one count of distribution of child pornography.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Roberts kept Fowler in jail, as requested by a prosecutor, pending a preliminary and detention hearing set for Wednesday.

Fowler was arrested after a man, identified as “DT,” told authorities he met a man, who went by the username “tellyourfirst,” on the dating app, Grindr, that said he was interested in “young boys,” according to search warrant affidavit. DT cut off contact with this man after learning of his interests and contacted law enforcement and filed a complaint with the Federal Bureau of Investigation but at this point, there was no information to identify the suspect.

On Nov. 22, the suspect again contacted DT on the dating app and identified himself as Kelby Fowler, FBI Special Agent Casey Maxted said in the affidavit. Fowler again indicated he was interested in young boys and DT reported it to law enforcement. Later that same month, Fowler told DT he had a thumb drive with child pornography that he received from other individuals online, the affidavit shows.

Maxted said DT also reported that Fowler told him about sexually abusing a 7-year-old boy and a 4-month-old child of a relative he was babysitting. Fowler then invited DT to his residence in Traer, along with a map link, which an FBI analyst confirmed was Fowler’s actual home.

DT also gave authorities two emails on his cellphone from Fowler which included his photo and one video attachment, Maxted said. The videos, viewed by Maxted, were of child pornography.


During a search of Fowler’s home, Fowler admitted to authorities that he possessed and distributed child pornography and he sent the email with the video to DT.

If convicted, Fowler faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

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