Former St. Francois County Sheriff’s Deputy, wife charged with attempted sexual trafficking of a minor

FARMINGTON, Mo. (KFVS) – A former St. Francois County Sheriff’s Deputy and his wife have been arrested for attempted sexual trafficking involving a minor.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol Division of Drug and Crime Control, 39-year-old David Keith Blankenship and 28-year-old Karlie Paige Blankenship of Farmington, Missouri were both arrested on May 30. Both were arrested for attempted sexual trafficking of a child and attempted use of a child in a sexual performance, following an investigation by the Special Victims Unit of the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control.

The State Technical Assistance Team and the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the investigation.

In March, investigators with the Special Victims Unit of the MSHP DDCC received information that a social media account associated with David Blankenship had uploaded a video file of suspected child pornography.

Investigators executed St. Francois County search warrants for the social media accounts of David Blankenship and located conversations between he and his wife, Karlie Blankenship, which support the belief the pair were actively planning to sexually traffic a child and use that child in a sexual performance. Furthermore, investigators executed a St. Francois County search warrant at Blankenship’s Farmington home and located additional evidence to support the criminal allegations.

On May 30, investigators arrested David and Karlie Blankenship for attempted sexual trafficking of a child and attempted use of a child in a sexual performance.

On May 31, the St. Francois County Prosecuting Attorney formally charged each with one count of attempted sexual trafficking of a child and one count of attempted use of a child in a sexual performance.

David Blankenship is currently being held in the Ste. Genevieve County Jail, with no bond. Karlie Blankenship is currently being held in the Jefferson County Jail, with no bond.

The sheriff’s department says they are shocked and saddened by the nature of the allegations against the former employee and co-worker. The department is continuing to assist the DDCC in bringing the investigation to a conclusion

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