Two Lowndes County men have been charged with child sex crimes in separate cases, according to a press release Sheriff Eddie Hawkins issued Friday.
Both Robert Thomas Taylor, 52, and Dana McGee, 30, are being held in Lowndes County Adult Detention Center following their arrests for possessing sexually explicit images of children.
Taylor, a Columbus native who had moved to Okaloosa County, Florida, was arrested July 27 at his home in Niceville and charged with one count of child exploitation.
That investigation began in December when Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office received “cybertips” from the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Taylor allegedly uploaded illegal images and videos of sexual abuse of children to Google over several months and had done so in several locations, including Lowndes County, the press release said.
Okaloosa County sheriff’s deputies and agents with the U.S. Marshal Service executed a search warrant at Taylor’s residence and arrested him. The suspect was brought back to Lowndes County, where he awaits his first appearance.
McGee was arrested July 29 at his Nashville Ferry Road residence after LCSO received a request for assistance eight days earlier from the Santa Fe, Texas, Police Department.
The suspect was having sexual conversations with underage females through Snapchat and distributed nude images he received of his victims to other individuals.
McGee is charged with producing, directing or promoting a sexual performance by a child under the age of 14, a second-degree felony in Texas. He also was charged with possession of paraphernalia. He remains in Lowndes County Adult Detention Center awaiting extradition to Texas.
Hawkins said the images seized in both investigations are horrific displays of children involved in sexual acts, and whether Taylor or McGee physically abused the children in the images is still being investigated.
“By distributing these images and videos, Taylor and McGee become part of a child exploitation distribution pipeline that victimizes children across the world,” Hawkins said. “This kind of behavior is disgusting. This investigation is still ongoing and more charges related to child exploitation are possible after a complete forensic analysis is done on the devices seized during this investigation.”
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