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CYBER CRIMES UNIT ARRESTS FRANKLIN COUNTY MAN

LITTLE ROCK - Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today that a Franklin County man has been arrested by agents with the Attorney General's Office for possession of child pornography.

Kenneth Gene Mendenhall, 38, of Altus, was arrested this afternoon following an investigation by the Attorney General's Cyber Crimes Unit. Franklin County Circuit Judge Bill Pearson found probable cause to charge Mendenhall with six counts of distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child, a Class C felony.

Mendenhall was being held in the Franklin County Detention Center in lieu of $30,000 bond.

"The dedicated law enforcement professionals who work in our Cyber Crimes Unit are committed to investigating and arresting those in our State who victimize children through engaging in this type of criminal activity," McDaniel said. "We look forward to presenting this case in court, and we will continue to work to protect Arkansas's most vulnerable citizens."

Agents from the Attorney General's Office executed a search warrant at Mendenhall's residence, 2816 Jennie Road in Altus, this morning. Mendenhall was arrested after admitting to investigators that he was in possession of child pornography on a laptop computer.

Agents seized two laptop computers and a desktop computer during the search. The computers and other seized electronic evidence will be analyzed at the Cyber Crimes Unit Forensic Lab in Little Rock.

Special Agent Wes Baxter of the Attorney General's Office began an investigation in to Mendenhall earlier this month after suspecting that child pornography was being possessed at Mendenhall's residence.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office assisted in the investigation and arrest. The Attorney General's Office will turn over the completed case file to Fifth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney David Gibbons.

Charges are merely accusations and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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