A social services worker in Polk County has been arrested for possessing and trading child pornography.

Deputies arrested 28-year-old William Smith on Friday. The sheriff’s office says he lives in Bartow and is a case manager for the Youth & Family Alternatives, Inc. of Lakeland.

According to the arrest affidavit, Smith had sexually graphic images of boys and girls between 5 and 12 years old.

The sheriff’s office launched an investigation after receiving a CyberTipline report on Friday about an account on the blogging site Tumblr that deputies say belonged to Smith.

The arrest affidavit says a review of the blog’s direct messages indicated, “the user has an interest in young children.”

The affidavit shows Smith messaged other users asking for pictures and videos of children and talked about child porn and sex with children.

Tumblr provided 48 videos and images to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for review. Deputies say they reviewed the files and determined several included child pornography. The affidavit says several files contained multiple child victims. 

According to the sheriff’s office, deputies determined at least 15 prepubescent boys and girls were seen in the files engaged in sexual conduct with apparent adults or exposed in a lewd manner.

After reviewing the files, deputies responded to Smith’s home in Bartow where they met him as he returned home with his wife. Authorities then obtained search warrants for Smith’s home, car and iPhone.

The affidavit says, during an interview with detectives, Smith admitted to trading child pornography on several social media platforms including Tumblr, Kik, Snapchat and Dropbox.

Detectives say Smith told them he “probably has child victims that are infants on his computer/cell phone.” The sheriff’s office says he denied inappropriately touching a child and said he “considers the screen his protection from actually touching a child.”

The affidavit shows Smith also told detectives he has an addiction to porn, including child pornography, and “needs help.” Detectives say he admitted to viewing child porn for approximately three to five years.

Smith was arrested and charged with 15 counts of possession of child pornography. He was taken to the Polk County Jail and is being held on no bond until his first appearance hearing.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is expected to provide more details in a news conference scheduled for late Saturday morning.