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Facebook tip lands Wisconsin man behind bars for child porn

Posted: 7:36 AM, Mar 15, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-15 09:53:46-04
Facebook still down for some, but outage showing some signs it's ending

Images sent privately on digital platforms like Facebook are still being monitored and if the pictures exploit children, the social media sites can and will tip off law enforcement. It just happened in Wisconsin.

Court documents said Alexander Bebris, of Neenah, Wisconsin sent a pornographic image of a child on Facebook messenger.

That, in turn, rang an alarm with Facebook. The social media platform then submitted a cyber tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. That organization alerted Wisconsin detectives. Investigators executed a search warrant at Bebris’s home, and examined his computer.

“We found multiple images of child exploitation material so that's children actively being sexually assaulted on images and videos. The children aged between 0 and 12-15 years old,” said Michael Sewall, an investigator with the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office.

Alexander Bebris, is a name familiar to some in the law enforcement field.

“He had over twenty years of law enforcement experience and he actually ran for sheriff of Outagamie County this last election cycle,” Sewall continued.

Investigators said Bebris would never have been on their radar. The said Facebook’s tip was instrumental in the case.

Investigator Sewall said cyber tips from social media platforms are increasing.

“It can be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, every social media platform out there has some way of policing what’s going on, on their websites,” he said.

“It would be impossible for us to police every social media account that exists,” Sewall said.

“At the end of the day, our goal is to rid this world of these people that are preying on the kids. They're the most innocent of victims that are out there,” he said.

On January 15, 2019 a grand jury indicted Bebris on two counts: possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography. His trail is scheduled for March 25th. He faces up to twenty years in federal prison if convicted.