A Hiram man is facing charges of sexual exploitation after investigators say he had multiple images and videos of child pornography.

Blake Lawrence Darnell, 30, was arrested recently after Paulding deputies and juvenile crimes investigators and Hiram police executed a search warrant at 23 Greystone Way in Hiram May 1 in reference to suspected possession and distribution of child pornography, said Sgt. Ashley Henson of the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office.

"The Paulding County Sheriff’s Office Juvenile Investigations Division, as an affiliate of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, participated in Operation Southern Impact III," he said.

"Operation Southern Impact is a multi-jurisdictional multi-state operation that focuses on arresting persons in possession of child pornography or persons who sexually exploit children using technology."

Henson said, during the investigators' search, "several computers and other electronic devices were taken."

"The suspect, identified as (Darnell) later admitted to detectives that he had downloaded child pornography," Henson said.

"During a subsequent exam of his computer and other electronic devices, multiple images and videos of known and suspected child pornography were discovered."

Darnell was arrested Friday, May 10, and charged with two counts of Sexual Exploitation of Children. One count was for possession of child pornography and the other count was for the distribution of child pornography, Henson said.

He said those with information about this case "or any case involving child pornography" were asked to call the Juvenile Investigations Division of the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office at 770-443-3016.


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