Camas man gets 5 years over secret pot, porn stash

Illegal items were accessed via a hidden elevator

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian breaking news reporter

Published:

Updated: May 23, 2014, 6:25 PM

 
photoA warrant search at a Camas residence led to the discovery of a hidden indoor marijuana growing operation accessed by a hidden elevator.

()

photoA hidden elevator that led to a cache of child pornography and more than 200 marijuana plants at a house in Camas.

()

A Camas man who kept thousands of child porn images and more than 200 marijuana plants in a room accessed by secret elevator was sentenced Thursday to more than 5 years in prison.

Kenneth Edward Smith, 53, pleaded guilty to possession and distribution of child pornography and was sentenced to serve 68 months in federal prison.

Smith became the focus of a federal investigation when a special agent with the FBI used an undercover account to target individuals distributing videos and images depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court for Western Washington.

The agent first contacted Smith on April 9, 2013, and through Smith the agent downloaded 123 images and five videos of sexually exploited children, ranging from infants to teenagers, according to court documents.

When authorities served a search warrant at his Camas residence in July, they found that Smith’s residence had a hidden mechanism accessed by turning a can of PVC Cement, which led to an outbuilding and a small elevator, according to court documents.

In that building, they found a computer containing 15,481 images and 518 videos depicting sexually explicit content involving children, according to court documents.

Authorities also found a marijuana grow in three rooms with a total of 211 plants, according to court documents. Smith was charged in Clark County Superior Court with manufacturing and possession of a controlled substance.

The Vancouver Police Department, Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the Clark County Regional Drug Task Force assisted in the investigation.