Two men are currently held in Van Buren County jail, charged with possession of child pornography, both as the result of a multi-agency investigation.
In the first, a Clinton man was arrested on 40 counts of child pornography. The man is currently held in the Van Buren County jail on $500,000 bond.
Named in the affidavit for warrant was Jason Underwood, 47, of Clinton.
Per the affidavit, the investigation began when an I.P. address in Clinton was being used to share “… numerous images of child pornography.” A summons was granted to find the address location. The address was found by the Homeland Security Investigation in Fort Smith to be used by a computer at a Clinton street address. The street address, the affidavit continued, reconciled to an Internet account for Underwood.
(An I.P. address, short for “Internet Protocol” is a series of numbers used to identify a device on an Internet network.)
Per the affidavit, on Oct. 30 an investigator from Homeland Security, joined by a Sebastian County deputy and a Van Buren County investigator, confronted Underwood at work, at Medic One ambulance service, telling him they were going to execute a search warrant at his home. As they spoke they found out Underwood has a personal laptop there at work, which was confiscated.
Underwood was told why a search warrant was being executed and he asked to speak with an attorney, per the report. After which Underwood would no longer speak with investigators.
Per the report a search warrant was granted for the laptop and it was “… transported to HSI [The Department of Homeland Security] office in Fayetteville for a forensic examinations of the computer to be conducted. During the initial examination of the laptop, numerous images and videos of child pornography were discovered.”
Medic One President Ryan Kibler said Medic One acted right away when Underwood, a paramedic, was arrested.
“The second he was arrested we terminated him,” Kibler said.
Referring to the matter as “shocking,” Kibler said Underwood had undergone two background checks with outside agencies prior to being accepted for Medic One duties, adding that the two agencies, OIG and Sams.gov continue to show Underwood as “clean,” despite the recent arrest.
Underwood has been an employee with Southern Paramedic Service before that company lost its contract with Van Buren County, to be replaced by Medic One, Kibler said.
County Prosecutor Chad Brown said his office would make no statement on pending cases. He was able to confirm that the matter would be tried in Van Buren County.
Per Court records, Underwood is currently engaged in divorce proceedings, with a Feb. 2, 2019 trial date.
Per the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department website, also being held in jail is Juan Carlos Jorge, 52, of Damascus. He is being held on $1,000,000 bond for 20 counts of child pornography after an Oct. 31 arrest.
The affidavit for warrant shows Jorge was arrested, also after an I.P. address trace which, through Homeland Security showed it to reconcile to a lot at the Damascus RV Park.
Homeland Security and three members of the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office searched Jorge’s RV while Jorge was there and found a laptop. Jorge denied using the laptop to view pornography, per the report.
The laptop was seized and a search warrant gained. There the HSI Fayetteville office found, per the report, “… a total of 10,452 pictures and 36 videos of child pornography…”