James F. Sheppard

Sheppard

PERRYVILLE — Investigators arrested a Perryville man on Wednesday morning after raiding his residence and confiscating “electronic devices revealing multiple child pornography files,” ending a six-month long investigation, according to the Maryland State Police.

The suspect, James F. Sheppard, 23, also stands accused of sexual solicitation of a minor, police reported.

In addition to sexual solicitation of a minor, which is a felony, Sheppard is charged with four counts of distribution of child pornography — also a felony offense — and six counts of possession of child pornography, according to Cecil County District Court records.

Assisted by Department of Homeland Security agents and Perryville Police Department officers, MSP investigators raided Sheppard’s apartment in the 1300 block of Aiken Avenue Extended at approximately 6 a.m. Wednesday, police said.

During the court-approved search of Sheppard’s apartment, which is where investigators took him into custody, MSP detectives found and seized electronic devices that contained numerous child pornography files, police added.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Sheppard remained in the Cecil County Detention Center without bond, according to court records, which also indicate that he is scheduled for a bail review hearing on Thursday and a July 20 preliminary proceeding.

The investigation leading to Wednesday morning’s raid and Sheppard’s arrest started in January, when the MSP Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force received a CyberTip report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children involving the online distribution of child pornography, police said.

During that investigation, MSP detectives determined Sheppard’s residence as the suspect address and developed him as the suspect, police added.

The Maryland State Police Computer Crimes Unit coordinates the Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Is is a combined law enforcement effort involving police departments across Maryland, and it is made possible, in part, through grant funds provided by the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth and Victim Services and through a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Task force investigators focus on identifying people involved in child pornography via the Internet, in addition to other related crimes that victimize children.

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