Maryland Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges in Joint Investigation

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 11, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Fernando Alexis Mejia Funes (age 20) of  New Carlton, MD on seven charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest, with the cooperative assistance of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Maryland State Police (members of the Maryland ICAC Task Force).


Investigators received a complaint from a Lexington resident which led them to Funes.  Investigators state Funes encouraged a minor victim to produce and send sexually explicit images via social media, solicited a sexual encounter with a minor victim, as well as blackmailed a minor victim.


Funes was arrested on January 2, 2019 by authorities in Maryland and extradited to Lexington County on January 9, 2019.  He is charged with four counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, first degree (§16-15-395), a felony offense punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment; two counts of criminal solicitation of a minor (§16-15-342), a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment on each count; and one count of blackmail (§16-17-640), a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.


The case will be prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office.


Attorney General Wilson stressed all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty in a court of law.


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