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January 8, 2021Sierra Visa, AZ, United StatesChild Exploitation

ICE assists in arrest of alleged child predator

SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. – A Hereford man was arrested Jan. 7 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Sierra Vista Police Department for his suspected involvement of child exploitation.

Lawrence Legault, 60, was taken into custody pursuant to a search warrant by law enforcement after information was received from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that a phone number associated with Legault was used in the uploading of illicit child images to a cloud storage account.

The Sierra Vista Police Department opened a criminal investigation in November, after receiving information that the internet protocol address, associated with the phone, was used in the Sierra Vista area. Several search warrants were issued by the Cochise County Superior Court to internet service providers, who provided additional information verifying the illegal conduct.

Evidence related to the investigation from the residence was recovered as was over an ounce of suspected methamphetamine and other drug paraphernalia.

Legault was booked into the Cochise County Jail on five counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Possession of Methamphetamine and possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

This is a Sierra Vista Police Department Special Operations Bureau led investigation with assistance from the HSI Douglas office.

Anyone with information relevant to these types of cases is asked to contact SVPD Detective Thomas P. Ransford at (520) 452-7500, or report crimes by email or call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.

The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty by a court of law.