Morgan County man arrested on child pornography charges

MORGAN CO. – An investigation that began on October 27, 2021, by Trooper Robert Whyte resulted in an arrest yesterday in Morgan County.

The investigation came to light when Trp. Whyte received a National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) cyber tip. NCMEC operates a Cyber Tipline which was established by the United States Congress to process reports of child sexual exploitation and shares that information with appropriate law enforcement agencies. NCMEC received a report from the social media app Instagram, which identified a video of suspected child pornography that had been shared by an unknown user. 

After a lengthy investigation and multiple search warrants to multiple businesses, Trooper Whyte identified the unknown user as Brian P. Dent. of Paragon.

On Thursday, December 2, 2021, a search warrant was served on Dent’s residence. Electronics were seized and searched and Dent was interviewed by investigators.

After conferring with the Morgan County Prosecutors office, Brian Dent was arrested and transported to the Morgan County Sheriffs Department where he was released to jail staff on felony charges of distribution of child pornography, two counts of child pornography of a child under the age of 12, seven counts of possession of child pornography and one count of distribution of matter harmful to minors.

Assisting ISP units: Troopers Sam Gillespie, Cody Brown, Randall Van Arsdale, and Internet Crimes Against Children Detectives.

Assisting Outside Agencies: Lawrence County Prosecutors Office and Morgan County Prosecutors Office.