By Mike Hellgren

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The number of child pornography cases in Maryland is skyrocketing, doubling in the past two years–fueled by new technology, Maryland State Police say.

“We’ve had individuals who we’ve arrested who said you can put me in jail, but when I get out, I’m still going to like children,” said Lt. Matthew Kail, Maryland State Police.

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The boldness was exemplified by the arrest this week of Patrick Moran, a supervising attorney in the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office Juvenile Division–a job that involves protecting children.

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In Moran’s case, police got a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that led police to his home in Baltimore County.

“It’s really disappointing and unfortunate that we are seeing people of trust involved in this activity,” said Lindsey Olson, with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

At the federal level, the FBI has turned to techniques more commonly used by hackers.

In one case, a school administrator thought he covered his tracks by downloading “Tor” a software that gives users anonymity online, but the FBI had secretly placed a code on all computers that logged into the child porn site that revealed his computer’s unique IP address.

FBI agents subpoenaed Comcast–his service provider–and were able to get his name and address.

“Companies like Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Google–all those companies are mandated by federal law to report apparent child pornography to the cyber tip line,” Olson said.

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A state police task force tracks these predators from this nondescript, yet highly-secured office park in Howard County.

Lieutenant Matthew Kail says they’re trying to stay ahead of the latest technology.

“We just have to follow the digital footprint to put it all together,” he says.

Police have even taken images of a suspect’s fingerprints–captured in a child porn video–to make an arrest.

In Suburban Philadelphia, a man used his elderly neighbor’s unsecured Wi-Fi network to download child porn–and mask his identity.

“Unfortunately the older generation is certainly a target for hackers like this, because they may not be understanding what kind of technology they’re putting in place. It sets you up to be extremely vulnerable,” said Leeza Garber, a Cybersecurity attorney.

Every lead that now comes in has the potential for an explosive bust.

“That case could be the tip of an iceberg. That’s not something you really know until law enforcement can investigate,” said Olson.

Moran was charged with possession and distribution of child pornography and released on $150,000 bail.

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