Englewood man faces federal child pornography, enticement charges

A 40-year-old Englewood man faces charges of child pornography, coercion and enticement after a tip from an Australian man began a federal investigation that uncovered messages, photos and other evidence.

A complaint and affidavit written by a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent about the suspect, Jeremy D. Byrd, said a tip came to authorities from an Australian man who said he was posing as a 15-year-old girl in an online chat site.

A May 2018 tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) led to the discovery of dozens of suspected child pornographic files in a Skype media storage account with an identified IP address.

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The tipster said the subject identified himself online and through a messaging service as a 40-year-old man from Englewood and that he sent pictures of his genitalia. The tipster was “messing around” and identified himself as a 15-year-old girl in Chicago.

A text conversation included in the complaint filed in Dayton’s U.S. District Court included a line about a potential meeting for sex purportedly from Byrd that read, “We have to keep this our secret.”

Photos sent included a picture of an adult male’s face, genitalia, a dog, a man sitting on a motorcycle and a male wearing an Army uniform, according to the complaint. The document said a detective recognized the the male as Byrd, who was a witness in a previous investigation.

The detective then posed as “Steph” and had conversations based around Byrd asking for naked pictures of a 15-year-old girl, the complaint said. “Ur naked body only for my eyes only,” one text in the affidavit read. The complaint included other messages centered around meeting for sex.

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A search warrant was served June 12, 2018 at Byrd’s Englewood residence, and Byrd “briefly fought with officers before he was secured in handcuffs,” the complaint said.

Vandalia Municipal Court records show Byrd faces an active case of resisting arrest including an Oct. 24 pretrial hearing.

The complaint said Byrd’s iPhone had 300 images and 40 videos depicting child pornography. The affidavit said investigators also found 344 chat sessions including conversations about Byrd’s desire to have sex with children including with female relatives.

“If we did anything together can u keep it a secret,” one read.

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Some conversations included photos of himself and those that appear to be underage girls, the complaint said. Dozens more suspected child pornography photos were discovered in various accounts, the agent wrote.

Byrd is free on bond and is scheduled to attend a preliminary hearing this afternoon. Federal prosecutors had sought pretrial detention, but a magistrate judge denied it.

“Mr. Byrd is a military veteran with a documented history of mental illness and there are a lot of facts still to be determined,” defense attorney Thomas Eagle said. “The court also released him to home and his mother so that says something too.”

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