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Last updated on Wednesday, March 13, 2013
(MITCHELL) - A Mitchell man was arrested after an off-duty Lawrence County was contacted by someone who bought a computer and found child pornography on it.
Benjamin T. Blanton, 25, was booked into the Lawrence County jail Tuesday on a warrant for one count of "child exploitation and four counts of possession of child pornography.
"After the officer was notified about the images he obtained a search warrant for the computer to investigate the files," says Lawrence County Sheriff Sam Craig. "The charges were filed in reference to the contents found on the computer."
According to a probable cause affidavit filed in Lawrence Superior Court I, the investigation began on Feb. 13 when a man called police about a used computer he had purchased from a friend. The caller said he had found images of child pornography on the computer.
The person who sold the computer, told police he had purchased it from Blanton. That person also told police that Blanton gave him the password to the computer, which was "LIFESUCKS69."
The man told police he also saw other computers in Blanton's home.
According to the court paperwork, "Images on the computer that were titled 'Registered to: Ben' included a folder that showed children approximately between the ages of 2 to 14 years of age involved in sexual conduct."
The officers verified the images were created on the computer prior to the date the caller had purchased it.
Officers then obtained a warrant to search Blanton's home for additional child pornography. They seized two cell phones, four computers, two thumb drive digital storage devices, a thumb drive digital recorder and several CDs.
According to the affidavit, "Blanton admitted that he had downloaded child pornography to that particular computer. Blanton admitted that he had child pornography on a couple of different digital storage devices and he had used thumb drives to move the photographs from one computer to another computer."
Blanton told police he had downloaded child pornography from the Internet to that computer.
Among the devices the police seized at Blanton's residence, officers discovered pornography on four of them.
Under Indiana law, child exploitation: possession of child pornography is a Class C felony. If found guilty, Blanton could be sentenced to serve two to eight years in jail and fined up to $10,000 for each count.
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