Alabama man indicted on more than 6,500 child porn charges

An Alabama man was arrested Thursday following an indictment charging him with more than 6,500 separate child pornography charges, police said.

Jeffery Dale Hunt, 50, of Cherokee, is being held in the Lauderdale County Detention Center in lieu of a $10 million cash bond, the Florence Times Daily reported. He faces a total of 4,378 counts of possession of child pornography and 2,169 counts of producing child porn.

Investigators allege that Hunt produced the images while living in Florence, the newspaper reported.

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Hunt was first arrested in March 2017 after a “cyber tip” in December 2016 led to a three-month investigation.

Detective Drew Harless, the Florence police investigator who led the probe into Hunt's activities, told the Times Daily in March 2017 that the tip came from an internet service provider.

"Someone saw an image thought to be child porn being uploaded and they contacted us," Harless told the newspaper.

According to AL.com, Florence police investigators obtained a warrant to search Hunt's home and confiscated all his electronics.

“Through the investigation of these crimes, it has been found that several of the child victims are from the local area,” Florence police officials said in a news release at the time. “These exploited children are all under the age of 12.”

He was initially charged with just 1,996 counts of possession of child porn and 295 counts of production of child porn, AL.com reported.

Further investigation and a more detailed inspection of the electronics seized in the 2016 search of Hunt's home led to the additional charges, the news site reported.

Hunt is accused of producing the child pornography while the victimized children were visiting his home, the Times Daily reported. His relationship to the children was released Thursday, but WAFF in Huntsville reported in 2017 that Hunt served as a babysitter for some of his alleged victims.

There were no allegations of physical sexual contact between Hunt and the children, the Times Daily reported.

Hunt was arrested last week with the aid of the U.S. Marshals Service. Besides the high cash bond, Hunt has also been ordered to stay away from children and cannot use the internet or any device that would allow him to contact or look at children.

Unlawful production of child pornography is a Class A felony in Alabama, punishable by 10 years to life in prison. Unlawful possession of child porn is a Class C felony, punishable by between one and 10 years in prison.

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