Sunday, February 14, 2010

Suspect arrested on child pornography charges

VALDOSTA — A Lowndes County man was arrested Thursday on charges of alleged possession of child pornography.

A search warrant was issued at 3423 Skipper Bridge Road Thursday morning as a result of an investigation conducted by the Southern Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, said Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine. The DA’s office was assisted by the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office and Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

“While executing the search warrant, numerous computer-related items and various other data-storage devices were seized,” Prine said.

Evidence collected from the home led to the arrest of the resident, 68-year-old William S. Buchanan, charged with one count of sexual exploitation of children, Prine said.Buchanan is being held in Lowndes County Jail. This arrest comes one month after a coordinated statewide raid on child pornography, which led to Lowndes County sheriff’s deputies arresting William Michael Bennett, 17, on a charge of possession of child pornography, Prine previously told The Times.

Bennett’s arrest stems from a three-month investigation coordinated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.As a result of the investigation, search warrants were executed in 34 counties across the state. The operation, known as Operation Restore Hope, involved 24 agencies, federal prosecutors’ offices and the state Attorney General’s office.

It also included the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Postal Service.