Man accused of producing child porn in federal custody

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A man accused of photographing himself and posting online photos of himself sexually abusing a 5-year-old girl is in federal custody.

Aaron Lloyd Mitchell, 21, appeared before a federal judge in Texarkana on Friday for a detention hearing. At the end of the hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Bryant ruled Mitchell will remain in jail while his case is pending.

Mitchell was arrested Nov. 21 by the FBI at a residence in Foreman, Ark., where he was living with a girlfriend and her 5-year-old daughter, according to a criminal complaint filed in the Texarkana Division of the Western District of Arkansas. Agents were notified Nov. 3 by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that they had received an anonymous cyber-tip that someone was posting sexually explicit photos involving a child. The tip said the poster of the images may be currently molesting a 5-year-old as well as a 13-year-old girl.

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Another tip was received Nov. 5 and appeared to contain images identical to those posted earlier. Using image analysis, officials were able to determine that the photos were taken with an iPhone 7 Plus and were able to identify the location where the photos originated.

Agents identified photographs of the 5-year-old being sexually abused which had been taken on multiple dates as well as photos of a 13-year-old which appeared sexual in nature. Investigators determined the 13-year-old is the daughter of a friend of the 5-year-old’s mother who often stayed at the residence.

Mitchell allegedly admitted to posting the photos of the girls on the website Tumblr after taking them with a SnapChat application. While being transported to the Miller County jail, Mitchell allegedly told agents he deleted Tumblr from his phone while agents were standing outside at the property.

The criminal complaint charging Mitchell alleges two counts of child pornography production, each of which is punishable by a minimum of 15 years. The case has not yet been presented to a grand jury for formal indictment. Mitchell is being held in the Miller County jail. Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wulff is prosecuting.

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