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FBI arrests Blount County teacher following child predator sting

A Blount County teacher was arrested after an undercover FBI operation targeting child predators.
Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 5:29 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 3, 2021 at 6:17 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A Blount County teacher was arrested by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents following a child predator sting, a report from the FBI and representatives with Blount County Schools confirmed.

Heritage High School mechatronics teacher and assistant football coach John Morrow was arrested Thursday by FBI agents, according to Amanda Vance, a communications representative with BCS. Vance also supplied WVLT News with a statement following the arrest.

The arrest followed a significant undercover operation by FBI agents out of Philadelphia and Knoxville, the FBI report reads. According to the report, FBI Philadelphia provided FBI Knoxville with information about an operation they were conducting. During the operation, an agent went undercover as a 12-year-old girl on the messaging platform Kik and spoke to a user identified as Morrow.

According to the report, Morrow identified himself as a 50-year-old East Tennessee, high school teacher while engaging in groups called #teachersplusstudents and #studentsgroup. Morrow allegedly went under the username ”sportandbev.”

The undercover agent and Morrow messaged back and forth, during which Morrow sent explicit pictures and videos of him and his wife, links to pornographic websites and inappropriate messages, the report states.

An image allegedly sent by Morrow (cropped)
An image allegedly sent by Morrow (cropped)(FBI)

Morrow also sent a picture of his classroom to the undercover agent and showed signs that he knew the person he was talking to was underage and doing so was illegal.

“Don’t get caught with my stuff in your phone. It could cost me a lot. Ok?” he messaged to the agent.

Agents were able to connect the account and an email account to Morrow and arrested him Tuesday, the report and officials said. They also used identifying marks like tattoos to identify Morrow.

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