Local, state and federal authorities worked together to arrest a Riegelwood man accused of sending nude photographs to an eight year old girl. Alberto Leon, 29, is being held under a $50,000 cash bond on charges of disseminating obscene material to a minor, according to the sheriff’s office. He was originally released on $25,000 secured, but the bond was raised after a court appearance Wednesday.
The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office reported that in March, the child’s mother, in Washington State, contacted authorities after finding the pictures. Local law enforcement there contacted the Department of Homeland Security. A joint investigation led the agencies to Columbus County.
In August, the CCSO said, detectives obtained Leon’s telephone records, and determined he had contacted the girl using social media. Leon allegedly asked for photos of the girl, who refused and told him her age, according to investigators. He continued “interacting with her inappropriately,” according to the CCSO, even after she told him she was a child.
On Oct. 20, CCSO Detectives, Homeland Security agents, and the Leland Police arrested Leon at Magnolia Greens in Leland, where he was employed.
Sheriff Jody Greene thanked Homeland Security and Leland Police Department for their assistance with the case.
“It is important that parents monitor their children’s activity on all social media apps and gaming sites,” Greene said in a press release. “This case is an example of how active parenting can protect children from a sexual predator. If you observe suspicious behavior on your child’s social media apps, please contact your local law enforcement agency immediately. It is also important to screenshot the evidence for investigators.”