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story.lead_photo.caption Rodas-Juarez

Darvin Rodas-Juarez, 24, of Siloam Springs, is in custody in the Benton County Jail after being arrested in connection with possessing child pornography.

On Nov. 8, Detective Alison Nguyen of the Benton County Sheriff's Office was made aware of a report filed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), who advised that a representative from Facebook contacted the agency to report two images that were uploaded to the site, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed on Dec. 26. The report stated that the images were classified by the company as suspected child pornography.

The images were reviewed by detectives and the NCMEC, who said that the content of each picture was consistent with criteria that is used to define two different categories of child pornography; detectives were also able to identify an IP address associated with both images, the affidavit states. The IP address helped officers identify a physical address and on Dec. 18, the BCSO Special Weapons and Tactics team (SWAT) and the Criminal Investigations Division executed a search warrant at 603 E. Central St. in Siloam Springs.

After completing an initial investigation, officers were able to rule out the possibility that the homeowners were involved, and shifted their attention to a tenant named that the homeowners said had been living in an additional room located toward the back of the house for about a year, the affidavit states. Detectives identified the tenant as Rodas-Juarez and upon seizing his cellphone, discovered "multiple images and videos of child pornography" depicting numerous different children.

Investigators were unable to uncover the exact origin of the materials, but due in part to comments made by Rodas-Juarez, it was determined that many originated on "Whatsapp," an application used to communicate via voice calls, text messaging and more, the affidavit states. Detectives were later able to confirm Rodas-Juarez as the individual responsible for uploading the images after they found that the phone number belonging to the phone they seized from him was an exact match to the phone number that Facebook reported as being associated with the account. The children pictured in the uploaded images are believed to be four to six and eight to 10 years old, and some that are pictured in the additional materials "appeared to be as young as three years of age," the affidavit states.

Rodas-Juarez was arrested on Dec. 20 in connection with distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child, the affidavit states. He is currently being held in the Benton County Jail as of Friday on a $10,000 bond and prosecutors have not filed formal charges against him. His arraignment is scheduled at 8 a.m. on Jan. 28 in Circuit Judge Brad Karren's courtroom.

General News on 01/06/2019

Print Headline: Man arrested in connection with distributing child pornography

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