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      Dougherty County man busted for child porn

      Dougherty County police arrested Sean Thomas Petroff, 39, on child pornography charges but the investigation began in August 2010 in Lee County

      Dougherty County Police arrested 39-year-old Sean Petroff Wednesday afternoon on child pornography charges after investigators say GBI found 282 child pornography pictures and 1,942 child erotica images on Petroff's computer.

      Petroff's case goes back further than this.

      "This offender was arrested August 13 of 2010 on these two particular charges: Sexual Exploitation and Enticing a Child for Indecent Purposes," says Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals.

      Rachals says the Lee County Sheriff's Office began investigating Petroff during June and July of 2010: An investigator at the Lee County Sheriff's Office was undercover online acting as a young teenager.

      "The offender was making contact with a 13-year-old girl and made arrangements to meet this 13-year-old girl on this actual date (Aug. 13, 2010) at a local store south of Lee County," says Rachals.

      Rachals says when Petroff arrived at the Homerun Foods on Highway 19, police arrested him. He says Petroff was later released on bond.

      But it didn't end there for the Dougherty County man.

      "While he was chatting with the investigator he was chatting from his residence, so when they arrested him, they contacted us and we obtained a search warrant for his residence to check for his computer," says Sgt. Chad Kirkpatrick with the Dougherty County Police Department.

      Kirkpatrick says after GBI searched Petroff's computer, they found 282 child pornography pictures and 1,942 child erotica images. Kirkpatrick says while child erotica is not illegal in Georgia, he says they charged Petroff based on the child pornography pictures.

      "We only took out 15 warrants. We're going to get with the D.A.'s Office to see if they want to indict him on the rest so that way we wouldn't have to do 282 actual warrants," says Kirkpatrick. "It's something we do from time to time when there's a lot of charges. We just do a few and they can indict him on the rest."

      This is the second child pornography case the Lee County Sheriff's Office has been involved within a week. On February 10, they arrested 19-year-old Erik Sandal on charges of Child Pornography and Child Exploitation.

      Rachals say they consider it an accomplishment to help catch these men.

      "I feel great about it. I'm thankful we've got this going on because we don't need this kind of crime going on in our county or in the United States period; we don't need it nowhere," Rachals says.

      At press release time, Petroff was still being processed at the Dougherty County Jail and his mug shot photo was not available. FOX 31 will post the mug shot on this story when it is available.

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