Martin Ward awaits return to Tucson - Tucson News Now

Martin Ward held on bond

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A former Tucson police officer is back in Tucson, being held on $100,000 bond on a charge of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Martin Ward, 29, was transferred from the Yavapai County Jail today after he was caught in Prescott nearly one week ago during a statewide manhunt.

The search warrant that police served at his home last Thursday outlines what they were looking for; everything from computers, to hard drives, thumb drives, cell phones and cameras.

Martin Ward is a former Tucson Police officer who served in the department for about six years. He was fired last summer after an internal investigation launched against him, stemming from several restraining orders taken out against him by his girlfriend.

"Anytime you're dealing with somebody who knows what our tactics are as a law enforcement officer, it makes it a very dangerous situation," said Daniel Leyva with the U.S. Marshal's Service. "During the arrest, there were different items seen in the room that could have been used to change his appearance: scissors and hair dye."

According to the search warrants, Tucson police launched a child porn investigation against Ward in March of 2012 after the Child Sex Crimes Unit found a 22-minute video showing a teenage girl involved in sexual acts, a clip that was traced back to a computer at Ward's home. They confiscated several videos but were not able to find Ward.

Detectives say that Ward's live-in girlfriend called sheriff's deputies and filed a report after finding Ward in an Internet chat room where people were "speaking of having sexual relations with a 4-year-old female child."

Martin Ward is now charged with sexual exploitation of a minor.

"Our investigators are some of the best of the best [and] use all avenues to help solve the case," Leyva said.

Ward's mental state is also of concern, according to personnel records that show that his live-in girlfriend had filed restraining orders against him after he trashed the home while intoxicated.

According to court documents, he made suicidal statements that led to his police-issued weapon being taken away from him when he was off shift, and he's accused of donating all of his girlfriend's clothes to Goodwill and forging documents to get benefits for his family.

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