VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia Beach Fire Department employee is accused of possessing and distributing more than 100 images of child pornography over the instant messaging app Kik.

Douglas France is charged with possession and distribution of child pornography in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia. He was arrested on Wednesday.

His detention and preliminary hearing was held on Oct. 25, during which France was granted $2,500 bond, with special conditions set upon his release.

During his arraignment on Nov. 9, France pleaded not guilty to the charges.

His arrest was the result of a joint investigation with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Virginia Beach Police Department, according to court records.

Douglas France is accused of possessing and distributing child pornography over the instant messaging app Kik. (Photo courtesy of the Western Tidewater Regional Jail)

The investigation started in January, when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) got a tip that a Kik account uploaded 98 child pornography files between November and December of 2021. The files contained child pornography involving children believed to be as young as 4 years old. The Kik account was geo-located to Virginia Beach, and the tip was forwarded to the VBPD, court records state.

Investigators learned the IP address associated with the Kik account was being accessed from a Cox Communications account that belonged to France, according to court records.

NCMEC got another tip in May about another Kik account that uploaded 23 child pornography files in February. The filed contained child pornography involving children believed to be as young as 12 years old. The Kik account was geo-located to Virginia Beach, and that tip was also forwarded to the VBPD, according to court records.

Investigators learned that the IP address associated with the second Kik account was also associated with France. They also linked an IP address associated with the Kik account to a Virginia Beach fire station and learned that France was a VBFD employee.

10 On Your Side reached out to VBFD for comment on France’s arrest, but did not receive any before publication.

France’s jury trial is set for January 23.

Check WAVY.com for the latest updates.