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Man, 51, arrested for possession of child porn after wife reports him to deputies

Travis Merritt was an employee for the Martin County School District
Travis Merritt
Posted at 4:59 PM, Feb 09, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-09 18:00:39-05

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — A 51-year-old man is in jail after his wife found child pornography on his cellphone and reported it to deputies, Martin County Sheriff's Office said.

MCSO said Travis Merritt was an employee for the Martin County School District, where he was stationed at bus garage duty, did work on air conditioners and did maintenance at various school campuses.

According to investigators, Merritt's wife called deputies on Jan. 31 after finding the disturbing images on his phone.

Deputies said Merritt was in a rehab facility on the west coast of Florida, when his wife reported the incident. They said when he was released from rehab, they interviewed him and he confessed to the crime.

"Our detectives interviewed him and his explanation for how he arrived with those images was that, he would use a little bit of cocaine, drink a lot of alcohol and at that point he would start downloading all kinds of crazy things," Chief Deputy John Budensiek told WPTV.

Deputies arrested Merritt on Tuesday. He faces three counts of child pornography and is being held on $1.5 million bond.

Deputies said they don't believe he had direct access to children and the videos and images found on his phone were downloaded from the internet and not of children from the schools. Budensiek told WPTV that the Martin County School District was notified immediately once it was determined that Merritt was an employee.

Deputies said the investigation is ongoing and more charges may be forthcoming.