Former Avon cop ordered to halfway house
Bob Gallen, 51, of Avon, appeared before a judge in Denver for a detention hearing Wednesday. The judge opted for the halfway house, which provides a more controlled environment than living at home, but not as restrictive as jail, Dorschner.
Dorschner declined to disclose the location of the halfway house.
“There are two factors that are considered by a judge when he makes this decision: if there is a risk of flight; or danger to the community,” Dorschner said.
Gallen will stay in the custody of the U.S. Marshall Service in Denver until there’s an opening in a half-way house, Dorschner said.
The next step is discovery and motions, in which prosecutors are required to share all their information with the defendant. If he is convicted, Gallen faces up to five years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, Dorschner said.
Gallen was arrested May 7 on charges of possession of child pornography after an investigation by the FBI, the Colorado Bureau of Investigations and the Avon Police Department.
He had been under investigation on charges of child pornography since February after the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office received an anonymous tip, law-enforcement officials said. He resigned from the Avon Police Department in April.
Three days after the Avon Police Department requested a full investigation, the FBI secured a search warrant on Gallen’s house. Police found Gallen in possession of floppy disks with images of child pornography, said Avon Police Chief Jeff Layman.
Gallen was placed on administrative leave Feb. 28, the day the search warrant was issued, until the outcome of the investigation was completed.
In early April, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation met with the Eagle County District Attorney’s Office, informing the office of Gallen’s pending arrest. Concurrent with the criminal investigation, the Avon Police Department requested an internal investigation through the Montrose office of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Those reports resulted in Gallen’s resignation with the Avon Police Department.
During the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s probe, the bureau uncovered evidence Gallen apparently had accessed child pornography sites on a computer about five years ago in Pennsylvania.
“Apparently, only members of his family knew about it,” Layman said.
Gallen started with the Avon Police Department May 14, 2001, as a police officer. He was promoted to sergeant in June of 2002.
Layman said Gallen’s background investigation was spotless after spending 27 years with the West Chester Police Department in Pennsylvania.
Vail Daily reporter Christine Ina Casillas contributed to this story.Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454, or at email@example.com.
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