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June 03, 2013

LITTLE ROCK – Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today that agents from the Attorney General’s Office have arrested a man and woman from Garland County on multiple child-pornography charges.

John David Ross, 39, and Amanda Desaray Hartle, 32, both of Hot Springs, were arrested late last week and were both charged with five counts of distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child, a Class C felony. Additionally, Hartle was arrested for one count of possession of a controlled substance.

Bond was set at $17,500 for Ross and $18,500 for Hartle. Ross posted bond Sunday. Hartle is being held in the Garland County Detention Center in lieu of bond.

“Criminal acts of child exploitation are reprehensible and there is no place for them in our State,” McDaniel said. “Each time these images are viewed or trafficked on the Internet, a child is victimized all over again. It is our goal to end this type of crime in Arkansas, and we will continue to work with law enforcement agencies across the state in order to do so.”

Special Agent Chris Cone of the Attorney General’s Office began investigating Ross and Hartle in April after suspecting that child pornography was being possessed at their residence, 1209 Richard St., in Hot Springs. The Hot Springs Police Department assisted in both the investigation and the arrest.

Agents with the Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit executed a search warrant at the residence late Thursday, seizing a laptop computer. The computer and other seized electronic evidence will be analyzed at the Cyber Crimes Unit Forensic Lab in Little Rock.

The Attorney General’s Office will turn over its completed case file to Prosecuting Attorney Steve Oliver.

Charges are merely accusations and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.