John Merrill

A Pacific man has pleaded not guilty after being charged with possession of child pornography, according to online court records. 

John Earl Merrill, 37, entered his not guilty plea while appearing on a video livestream earlier this month. 

According to the probable cause statement, the St. Louis County Police Department began their investigation into Merrill in mid-January when they were alerted that child pornography had been downloaded from an IP Address in Pacific. An IP Address is a numeric designation that identifies a computer’s or device’s location on the internet. This numeric designation can sometimes also be used to identify the location of a computer, the company or organization it belongs to, and where it was registered. 

Using these details, investigators conducted a search of Merrill’s home after obtaining a warrant. 

Police said Merrill confessed to downloading and allowing others to download child pornography. 

Merrill is being held on a $75,000 cash-only bond at the county jail. He was scheduled to go before Associate Judge David Hoven for a confined docket hearing Thursday, March 11, at 2 p.m. at the Franklin County Courthouse.