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Tip from S. Oregon Child Exploitation Team leads to La Pine man’s arrest; several digital devices seized in raid on home

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(Update: La Pine man formally charged, appears in court)

La PINE, Ore. (KTVZ) – An investigation sparked by a tip early this year from the Southern Oregon Child Exploitation Team led to a raid Wednesday on a La Pine man’s home and his arrest on 20 charges related to online distribution of child sexual abuse images, Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies said.

The Medford-based team informed the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office in January of an IP address that was actively distributing child sexual abuse material through peer-to-peer networks, Sergeant Jason Wall said. SOCET was able to connect directly to a computer distributing the material and shared that information with the DCSO’s Internet Crimes Against Children unit.

“ICAC detectives initiated an investigation and obtained a large amount of evidence over the last several months,” determining the IP address distributing the material was operated by a 32-year-old La Pine man, Cody O'Neal, Wall wrote in a news release.

Detectives with the sheriff's office ICAC, Street Crimes and Digital Forensics units, along with Oregon State Police ICAC detectives and the Bend Police Digital Forensics unit, served a search warrant Wednesday at the man’s La Pine home, where “several digital devices were seized,” Wall said.

O'Neal was arrested and taken to the county jail in Bend, where he was booked on 10 counts each of first- and second-degree encouraging child sexual abuse. He was arraigned on the 20 formal Class B and C felony charges on Thursday, court records show.

The charging document indicated the incidents occurred on or about Jan. 5 of this year. O'Neal is due back in court May 23 for arraignment on an expected formal indictment.

Wall added, “Further search warrants will be sought for the analysis of the seized digital devices, which may result in future charges being filed.”

Article Topic Follows: Crime And Courts

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Barney Lerten

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