On March 7th, Gordon County Sheriff’s Detectives participating in the ‘Internet Crimes Against Children(ICAC) Task Force‘ initiated an investigation into online activities of Charles Joshua Stephens, age 26, of Webb Drive, Calhoun, Georgia. On the following day, detectives visited Stephens’ home where he was arrested without incident after the investigating officers found hundreds of images of child pornography. On March 9th, detectives executed two search warrants for electronic devices/online storage accounts. During the execution of the search warrants, detectives discovered nearly 4000 additional pornographic images depicting children.
The online storage account was actually located in New Zealand, and New Zealand law enforcement authorities assisted the Sheriff’s Office in this case. A personal document in the defendant’s name was discovered amongst the pornographic images. Stephens has been charged with 10 counts of Violation of the Child Exploitation Act (possession of child pornography) and is in the county jail awaiting bond proceedings.
Further charges are pending as subsequent investigation activity is coordinated with the District Attorney’s Office. The ICAC program is composed of federal, state, and local authorities. The Sheriff Office has been a member agency for over 7 years.
Photo: Charles Joshua Stephens