Former Ocean Springs cop faces child porn charges - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Former Ocean Springs cop faces child porn charges

Lee Leonard (Photo source: Jackson Co. Sheriff's Dept.) Lee Leonard (Photo source: Jackson Co. Sheriff's Dept.)
OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

By Patrice Clark – bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) – A former Ocean Springs police officer faces child pornography charges after investigators found pornographic images on his police department computer.

Lee Leonard, 46, was arrested at his home in north Escatawpa just before 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Leonard wore the law enforcement badge for several years in Jackson County. Leonard served as a sheriff's deputy then as an Ocean Springs police officer. Sheriff Mike Byrd said the now "ex-officer" who resigned last month, broke the law by possessing child pornography. Leonard been charged with six counts of possessing of child porn.

"It is very disappointing when you have a person that is held in that position of trust and they commit alleged acts," Byrd said. 

Leonard's computer from the police station and his personal computer from his home were confiscated. So far, Byrd said investigators found downloaded movies and kiddie porn pictures. 

"We have minor children anywhere from the ages of 5 to 12." 

This is not the first time an Ocean Springs Police Officer has been in trouble with the law for possessing child pornography. Back in June, Lt. Steven Futral, then the public information officer for the police department, was charged with four counts of child pornography. 

Sheriff Byrd said the investigation of Leonard began when suspicious material popped up on his police department's computer. Ocean Springs Deputy Chief Mark Dunston told WLOX, "We have our systems set up to catch these things."

An internal investigation became a criminal one and it was immediately turned over to the sheriff.  

"And it culminated with this," Dunston said. 

Byrd said Leonard could face up 240 years prison for this crime. 

"We are not going to tolerated this," Byrd said. "If you download child pornography, you are going to get arrested. It is as simple as that and it doesn't matter who you are."

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