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  • Writer's pictureDennis McCaslin

Branch 28-year-old resident charged with ten counts stemming from possession of child pornography

John Thomas Eli Gilbreath

A 28-year-old Branch resident was arrested last week after a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children led to the tracking of an IP address resulting in the discovery of an individual suspected of downloading child pornography.

The Arkansas State Police and Department of Homeland Security followed the cyber-tip and obtained a February search warrant on a home located at 2702 Griffin Road in Branch. When the search warrant was executed, John Thomas Eli Gilbreath admitted to investigators that he possessed both images and videos of child pornography on a cellular device.

On February 7, a forensic examination of the phone verified the illegal materials. after authorities obtained a sera ch warrant for the phone. Gilbreath was initially misleading on the number of images and videos he had downloaded, but the forensic exam revealed 72 images and three videos in total, which led to ten charges of Possessing, Viewing or Distributing Material Depicting Explicit Materials Involving Children.

However., a warrant for Gilbreath's arrest wasn't issued until March 9 and he was; arrested until May 20. He waived an appearance and pled not guilty through his attorney Ernie Witt after the charges were finalized over the weekend.

Gilbreath was released from custody at 1:45 p.m on Monday after posting an unspecified bond.

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