MILWAUKEE -- The FBI Milwaukee Division's Child Exploitation Task Force, in cooperation with the Milwaukee Fire Department (MFD), announced on Saturday, February 18th it has arrested and charged 44-year-old Robert Rutley, a Milwaukee firefighter. He was taken into custody in Montana -- and is now charged with Possession and Distribution of Child Pornography.
The arrest comes after the execution of a federal search warrant at Engine House 29 on Milwaukee's southwest side.
A news release from the FBI says after a forensic review of evidence seized during the search warrant on Monday, February 13th, a federal arrest warrant was obtained for Rutley, one of the firefighters assigned to that engine house. Rutley apparently fled the area.
During the follow-up investigation, the FBI determined Rutley was in Montana.
The FBI coordinated with the Montana Highway Patrol and on Friday, February 17th, Rutley was taken into custody without incident following a traffic stop in Big Horn County, Montana.
This is not the firefighter's first time in trouble. Back in 2013, Rutley was one of several firefighters accused of vandalizing Engine House 32. A report on the vandalism described damaged drywall, a dead mouse inside a locker and feces in a floor drain.
Milwaukee Fire Chief Mark Rohlfing addressed the problem at the time.
"That shouldn't be happening in our organization," said Rohlfing.
The two firefighters suspected of being the instigators immediately retired. Two more who were on probationary status were fired. Others, like Rutley, were served with suspensions. He was also moved to another engine house.
Now more than three years later, the allegations are much more serious.
Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for updates on this developing story.