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

Michael E. Rea, 43, of Bauxite, was arrested Thursday following an investigation by the Attorney General's Cyber Crimes Unit. Saline County Circuit Judge Gary Arnold found probable cause to arrest Rea on 20 counts of distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child, a Class C felony, and four counts of computer exploitation of a child, a Class B felony.

Rea was being held at the Saline County Detention Center on $100,000 bond.

Rea, a Level 3 sex offender, is on probation for a 2010 sexual assault conviction. He also faces a probation revocation hearing.

"Through the collaborative efforts of our office and law enforcement agencies in Saline County and Hot Spring County, we were able to arrest a man who we believe was victimizing our children," McDaniel said. "Agents in our Cyber Crimes Unit will continue to work together with law enforcement officials statewide to protect our most vulnerable citizens."

The Attorney General's Cyber Crimes Unit launched an investigation into Rea in October after officials from the Malvern Police Department notified the Attorney General's Office that they suspected child pornography was being possessed at Rea's residence.

Special Agent Chad Meli from the Attorney General's Office accompanied a Saline County probation officer on a visit to Rea's residence, 6328 Sutton Road, in Bauxite. Multiple images of child pornography were found on a laptop computer at the residence. Electronic evidence seized from Rea's residence was analyzed at the Cyber Crimes Unit Forensic Lab in Little Rock.

Twenty-second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Ken Casady will appoint Assistant Attorney General Bart Dickinson as a special prosecutor to handle the case.

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


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