Alabama Man Arrested for Child Porn Following ICAC Investigation

Shutterstock

The Alabama Internet Crimes Against Children task force spearheaded an investigation that has led to an arrest of an Alabama man on charges relating to the possession of child porn. The arrest was in connection to a search warrant that was served on September 10, investigating the home and belongings of suspect Jeffrey Scott Harris.

Harris was the target of an ICAC investigation that began in June.

After searching his belongings and electronic devices, Harris was charged with possession of obscene matter containing visual depictions of persons under 17 years of age involved in obscene acts, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, and second-degree possession of marijuana. His cash bond was initially set at $100,000.

Investigation Reveals Troubling Evidence

The search of Harris’s residence was facilitated by a search warrant acquired by the internet crimes task force headed by Bryant Parkhurst. Their search of Harris’s Walker County residence turned up significant enough evidence to charge him with drug charges and child pornography charges.

A search of Harris’s electronic devices showed he was in possession of large volumes of illicit images and videos.

Investigators told reporters they found over 50 files on his computer that depicted illegal material involving children. Over twenty of the files were images, and more than thirty of them were videos. Investigators noted that, of the image files, twenty-one were copies of the same image, indicating that Harris may have had intent to disseminate the image to others online.

Additional Charges

Upon noticing this pattern, Parkhurst filed for a warrant to search further into Harris’s electronics in order to charge him with possession with intent to disseminate the illegal material. These additional charges led to another $250,000 being added to Harris’s bond, making it that much more difficult for him to be able to post the bond.

The charges were the result of cooperation between various organizations working to combat crimes against children. ICAC cases almost always involve cooperation between agencies at the local and state level, as well as assistance from federal law enforcement and other support personnel.

This is because the crimes being investigated are occurring both at the local level and over the internet, which makes the prosecution and investigation of such crimes complicated.

Officials warn that, due to the COVID pandemic, incidents of crimes against children online are up significantly from last year. This highlights the importance of keeping an eye on what children are doing online.