Five officers from the Winona Police Department received formal letters of appreciation from the FBI thanking them for their diligent work on a child pornography case dating back to 2010.
Officers Angela Evans, Anita Sobotta, Anne Scharmach, Andy Mohan and Eric Engrav were highly praised, said Police Chief Paul Bostrack.
After receiving reports from a Winona man who found sexually explicit photos of two young girls in his email account, Winona police officers got to work.
“They were quick to put together a file and had built a very strong case,” Bostrack said. “When it crossed over into other states the FBI took over.”
The man had noticed the disturbing images while living with Donna May Zauner.
Zauner, 45, had taken pictures of a 6- and 2-year-old girl and was sending them to Alec James Tafolla, 52, of Claymont, Del., as a makeshift payment for driving her across the country on several occasions.
Police officers took the girls into protective custody and arrested Zauner.
Zauner was sentenced to 18 years in prison and Tafolla was sentenced to 16 years in prison.
“The FBI sent each officer a letter thanking them for their efforts,” Bostrack said. “After all their hard work, it’s very nice to get good letters like that.”