Six arrested in child sexual exploitation investigation

Six people were recently arrested by various agencies throughout Bay County in relation to an investigation in to online sexual exploitation of children. Clockwise from top left: Brandon Creel, 23, of Lynn Haven, Brandon Phillips, 33 of Panama City Beach, Christopher Hernandez, 23 of Panama City, Louis Johnson, of Panama City, Robert Jackson, 46 of Southport and Michelle Jackson, 44 of Southport.

BAY COUNTY Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Bay County Sheriff's office announced Wednesday the arrest of six people involved in the online exploitation of children.

According to a press release, the arrests are a result of a two-week, multi-agency operation.

Working with agents from Homeland Security Investigations, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), BCSO investigators gathered information about seven addresses in Bay County where people were reportedly downloading and distributing child pornography.

Another address was identified through a Clay County investigation as someone speaking with a child and obtaining pornographic images of that child during online communications.

Investigator say between June 8-16, eight search warrants were served in Bay County by multiple agencies including BCSO, Panama City Police Department, Panama City Beach Police Department, Lynn Haven Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations and the FBI.

Five people were arrested on several charges relating to the possession and distribution of child pornography and a sixth was charged with tampering with evidence for hiding a computer being used for the downloading of pornography.

The following people were arrested:

Louis Johnson, age 51, of Frankford Ave., Panama City, on a charge of Possession of the Sexual Performance of a Child

Christopher Hernandez, age 23, of S. Gay Ave., Panama City, for Possession of the Sexual Performance of a Child

Brandon Creel, age 23, of Louisiana Ave., Lynn Haven, for two counts of Promoting the Sexual Performance of a Child

Robert Jackson, age 46, of Willow Wood Rd., Southport, for two counts of Promoting the Sexual Performance of a Child

Michelle Jackson, age 44, of Willow Wood Rd., Southport, for Tampering With Physical Evidence

Brandon Phillips. Age 33, of Summer Breeze Rd., Panama City Beach, on a charge of Use of a Child In A Sexual Performance.

"I encourage parents to be vigilant in monitoring the online activity of their children," said Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford. "Anyone who becomes aware of someone online trying to exploit children, please immediately report it to your nearest law enforcement agency."

According to a news release, the investigation is on-going and more charges are expected.