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Former employee of Madison County Sheriff’s Office arrested on child porn charges

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Madison County Sheriff's Office deputies confirm Jonathan Sheldon was arrested and booked into the Madison County jail Thursday morning on two counts of child porn possession.

Jonathan Sheldon (Photo: Madison County Sheriff's Office)

Jonathan Sheldon (Photo: Madison County Jail)

Sheldon worked, until a month ago, in Information and Technology for the sheriff's office. He was in charge of maintaining and fixing devices including computers. Deputies say after his departure, they discovered child pornography on his work computer during an internal affairs investigation of the device.

"We were in the middle of another internal affairs investigation. Based on that investigation, some of the allegations that were made, I felt it necessary to take control of his computer and run it because of his IT status, and see if there was anything on it." He added, "It was discovered because we are attempting to be transparent and accountable with regards to our employees and the actions we take when something is wrong or we detect something wrong. It was just a matter of investigative steps that brought us to this point."

He did not elaborate about the reasons behind the initial internal affairs investigation that led to the child pornography discovery.

Capt. Michael Salomonsky told WHNT News 19 he's the one who found the pornography on the computer. As soon as it was detected, Salomonsky says he turned the computer over to the Internet Crimes Against Children officer.  After some investigation, they determined they had probable cause to arrest Sheldon. He was the only one who had access to that computer.

Deputies say they also searched Sheldon's home, telling WHNT News 19 they found some more computers at his home. Some of those belonged to the Madison County Sheriff's Office, even though Sheldon no longer worked there. We're told more charges are expected in this case.

The Madison County Sheriff's Office held a press conference to address the issue. WHNT News 19 streamed it live on Facebook, and you can view it here.

Salomonsky would not confirm the circumstances that led to the internal affairs audit, but did say at the time of his departure to a new job Sheldon was not being investigated.