Investigation into former fire captain began with Craigslist ad - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Investigation into former fire captain began with Craigslist ad

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KENNEWICK, WA - A warning for any sensitive readers: this story contains graphic and disturbing details. 

A former Benton County Fire Captain is spending three years in prison and once released will have ten years of probation and will have to register as a sex offender. Jeff Ripley has been convicted in Federal court of possessing child pornography. Investigators first began looking into Ripley because of a rather deviant dialogue on Craiglist. 

The then 61-year-old also allowed investigators to search his home computers and electronics. They contained tens of thousands of pornographic files, dozens of which were child porn. However, the investigation intro Ripley started way before that. 

"I don't remember the ad I posted but it was you know, like we talked about earlier, the daddy-daughter thing. Younger, of age person and this guy sends a note," said Ripley in an interview with investigators that he agreed to have recorded. 

"This guy'' that Ripley referenced was actually a detective. The ad, posted in Craigslist's former Casual Encounters section was titled 'Daddy Seeking His Baby Kitten.' It read: "Hi baby girl. This gentle dom of a handsome dad is searching for a long-term, petite and sweet little princess for love and service. Your home and new life in service to daddy is waiting and the rewards will be worth every day of your life, committed to me. This is brief, but serious. If you are truly interested let's start this dialog, kitten.''

The investigator and Ripley emailed back and forth for months which lead to the recorded interview inside Ripley's home as detectives scoured his computer. 

"What we would be concerned about is underage people and children. Is there anything you think he'd find on there that would be underage children," asked one detective. 

"I don't think so," Ripley replied. The detective counters saying, ''See, if somebody asked me that question, I could say absolutely not."

Ripley, now serving 36 months for what did turn out to be underage people depicted never did set up a meeting through that Craigslist ad. Although, the detective posing as a father of two young girls did make it clear the conversation had to do with underage girls. 

At one point Ripley writes back "She is a gorgeous and sexy young ride. The whole younger/older things has played out in my mind many times. Being the first would, in some ways, be quite an honor. I just can't imagine she would really want to be with someone old enough to be her grandpa." He goes on to write, "Sorry for the back and forth. I wish you both luck and be careful with whatever selection you make for her and the next one."

Ripley admitted her believed this may have been a case of human trafficking but never brought his suspicions law enforcement. 

"How many people do you think you have met with," asked the detective. 

"Oh you know - off and on, probably quite a few. As far as I know, all of them at age or above," answered Ripley.

No charges were filed in regards to that Craigslist ad and ensuing conversation that lasted for months because Ripley never made an attempt to follow through. He is, however, serving three years in prison which is just under the standard range for that crime. A judge handed down his sentence in Federal court on Tuesday. 

Ripley's defense included a claim that he has a pornography addiction. If you or someone you know is struggling with something like that there is help available. You can call the National Addiction Hotline at 1 (888) 352-6072.

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