Michael Smith was also assistant varsity basketball coach at SMHS

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's detectives arrested a Santa Maria High School teacher and coach on child pornography charges.

SLO Sheriff' spokesman Ton Cipolla said deputies received information that child pornography was being downloaded and distributed from a computer at a residence located in the 22000 block of I Street in Santa Margarita, a small community just east of Highway 101 on Highway 58 I Central SLO County. On Detectives with the Sheriff's Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) team served a search warrant at that location on Thursday and computers, laptops, external hard drives, memory cards and DVDs.

On one external hard drive alone, Cipolla said, there were multiple images of pre-pubescent children engaged in sexual acts.

“At this time, there is no evidence the manufacturing of child pornography was being conducted at the residence. The images appear to have been downloaded from the internet and then distributed,” Cipolla said. “The rest of the seized electronics will be forensically analyzed for child pornography.”

Detectives arrested 53-year-old Michael David Smith of Santa Margarita on one count of possession of child pornography and one count of distribution of child pornography.

Smith is a teacher at Santa Maria High School and is also the assistant varsity coach of the high school boy's basketball team, Cipolla said.

“Sheriff's Detectives are working with the Santa Maria Police Department and the Superintendent of Schools and at this point there is no indication these crimes were committed on school grounds,” Cipolla said.

Smith was taken into custody without incident and was booked into County Jail. The investigation is on-going.