The Rhode Island State Police announce that members of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force and the Middletown Police Department arrested a Middletown resident for multiple Video Voyeurism charges.
On January 31, 2020, members of the Rhode Island State Police High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force (HIDTA), executed a court authorized search warrant at the residence of Christopher P. Toppa, age 47, of 223 North Fenner Avenue, Middletown, Rhode Island. As a result of this warrant approximately 120 marijuana plants, 3.6 pounds of usable marijuana, 10.8 pounds of marijuana edibles and Toppa’s Apple IPhone were seized. Toppa was charged with one count of Delivery / Possession with Intent to Delivery & Manufacture – Schedule I/II, one count of Manufacture / Possession / Deliver > 5 Kilograms of Marijuana and one count of Resisting Arrest. Mr. Toppa was arraigned at 2nd D.C. Newport and was released after posting bail on $50,000.00 surety.
During a forensic analysis of Toppa’s phone, investigators discovered approximately 37 voyeurism style videos and approximately six live voyeurism style photographs. These videos and photographs were taken from the outside of residence windows looking into the interior of various residences in the Middletown and Newport area. The videos and live photographs depicted nude or partially nude young women while they were changing, showering, using the restroom or engaging in sexual acts. Investigators concluded that the images seized were not sent to Toppa’s phone via a text message or email or downloaded off the Internet.
Investigators were able to positively identify, locate and interview approximately six victims. Each of the victims stated that the videos were taken without their consent and knowledge.
On Friday, February 7, 2020, members of the Rhode Island State Police HIDTA Task Force, Computer Crimes Unit and Middletown Police Department responded to 223 North Fenner Avenue, Middletown, RI to execute a court authorized search warrant for Mr. Toppas residence and arrest warrant for his arrest. Investigators attempted to apprehend Mr. Toppa and he refused to comply with investigators commands and resisted lawful arrest. Investigators were able to take Mr. Toppa into custody and seized approximately 2.681 ounces (76 grams) of suspected marijuana from Mr. Toppa.
Toppa was brought before the Honorable Judge Terence Houlihan at 2nd district court and arraigned on 16 counts of Video Voyeurism; Possession of Marijuana over 1 ounce and Resisting Arrest. Toppa was held as a bail violator for the charge of possession of marijuana over 1 ounce and resisting arrest and he has a status review on February 11, 2020.
This is an ongoing investigation and the Rhode Island State Police is asking anyone who has more information regarding this investigation to please call the HIDTA tip line at 401-475-7003.
A person found guilty of the crime of video voyeurism shall be imprisoned for not more than three years in jail and/or fined not more than five thousand dollars.
A person found guilty of possession of one ounce or more of marijuana upon conviction, may be imprisoned for not more than five years, or fined not more than five thousand dollars or both.
A person found guilty of resisting arrest shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by both fine and imprisonment.
The HIDTA Task Force is managed by the Rhode Island State Police. It is comprised of members from the Rhode Island State Police, Lincoln Police, Pawtucket Police, Providence Police, North Providence Police, Middletown Police, West Warwick Police, Adult Correctional Institution, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Drug Enforcement Administration and Homeland Security Investigations.