Investigators from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a custodian at Beauregard Elementary School on Wednesday and charged him with 41 counts of possession of child pornography, according to a press release from the LCSO.
The custodian, Matthew Adams Hammock, 33, of Beauregard was taken into custody at the school without incident, deputies said.
On Tuesday, sheriff’s investigators along worked with agents from the Alabama State Bureau of Investigations to conduct multiple search warrants in Lee County in response to tips pertaining to the exploitation of children under the age of 18, the release said.
Hammock was identified as a suspect. Investigators said they collected Hammock’s cell phone during the arrest and were able to confirm multiple images of child pornography had been downloaded from the internet.
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Investigators then conducted a search warrant at Hammock’s residence in the 200 block of Lee Road 43 in Beauregard. Multiple digital devices were obtained and investigators said they found multiple images depicting nude children under 12 years of age.
At this time there has been no evidence found that would suggest Beauregard Elementary School or any of the students were depicted in any of the photos, according to the LCSO release.
Deputies conducted searches in all of the bathrooms at the school and said they found no recording devices.
“The evidence at this point in the investigation has not given any cause for concern for the students at the school nor the school itself,” Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said. “We’ve looked extensively to see if there’s any indication of any of the student population at the school being involved and we see no evidence of that at all.”
The investigation will continue to ensure this and to insure no other suspects were involved, Jones said.
“This individual at this point in the investigation appears that he was utilizing the internet or internet-based images,” Jones said. “Evidence doesn’t indicate that he was taking physical actions at the school.”
Jones confirmed that Hammock’s employment at the school has been terminated.
As technology has advanced, Jones said, LCSO has taken steps to train investigators in the detection and investigation of digital-based crimes. The department has recently added two new positions that will be dedicated to digital forensics.
“These individuals have specialized training in regard to investigation of the types of crime that this indicates, internet-based issues,” Jones said.
Hammock is being held in the Lee County Detention Center on a $410,000 bond. Deputies said more charges are expected.
This case will be submitted to the district attorney’s office for Grand Jury consideration.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at 334-749-5651 or Central Alabama Crime Stoppers at 334-215-STOP (7867).