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Two Independence County men arrested in sexually explicit conduct involving a child case

Updated: Sep. 17, 2020 at 9:54 PM CDT
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BATESVILLE, Ark. (KAIT) - A pair of Independence County men were in jail Thursday after authorities say the men were involved in child pornography being downloaded nearly hundreds of times.

Aaron L. McKenzie, 30, and Jonathon L. Reynolds, 30, both of Batesville were arrested on suspicion of 35 counts of distributing, possessing or viewing of matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child.

Aaron McKenzie, 30, of Batesville was arrested on suspicion of 35 counts of distributing,...
Aaron McKenzie, 30, of Batesville was arrested on suspicion of 35 counts of distributing, possessing or viewing of matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child.(Source: Independence County Sheriff's Office)

Both arrests were part of a long-term investigation by authorities.

According to a probable cause affidavit, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children received a Cyber Tip on Nov. 6, 2019 about Reynolds and “99 sexually explicit pornographic images of minor females to be under the age of ten years old.”

Authorities received a search warrant for phone records and found out that Reynolds was in Independence County last October when the images were downloaded, uploaded or viewed, the affidavit noted.

Jonathan Reynolds, 30, of Batesville was arrested on suspicion of 35 counts of distributing,...
Jonathan Reynolds, 30, of Batesville was arrested on suspicion of 35 counts of distributing, possessing or viewing of matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child.(Source: Independence County Sheriff's Office)

The probable cause affidavit for McKenzie noted that the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children got an alert last December from Google about child porn being downloaded.

“Information contained in the Cyber Tipline Report included an email address, numerous IP address, approximately 300 images of child pornography with hash values of each image, 30 login dates ranging from June 22, 2019, through December 16, 2019, in which child pornography was downloaded to the Google Drive account, and 80 additional Cyber Tipline Reports related or associated with the above-listed email address and Google Drive account,” the affidavit on McKenzie noted.

Authorities served a search warrant on the email records, finding child porn involving young girls ages 6-12, the affidavit noted.

Authorities later interviewed McKenzie about the case.

“Aaron stated that he did in fact download and view child pornography on his cellular phone while using the wireless internet service at (house). Aaron McKenzie also stated that his desktop computer, which was seized from his residence as evidence, contained child pornography,” the affidavit noted.

A $100,000 bond was set for McKenzie and Reynolds in the case.

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