Google tip leads to sex offender in Lancaster who downloaded child porn, officials say

A convicted sex offender living in Lancaster has been sentenced to seven years in prison after a tip from Google showed the suspect downloaded child porn, officials said.

Charles Franklin Poston, 41, pleaded guilty this week to sexual exploitation of a minor in Lancaster County court, according to prosecutors and court records.

In March, the Google company contacted the Center for Missing and Exploited Children after child porn was downloaded from the Internet, said Robert Kittle spokesman for the S.C. Attorney General’s Office. The missing children center contacted the attorney general’s office, which runs the the South Carolina Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, officials said.

Lancaster County Sheriffs Office deputies were contacted and started an investigation, court records show.

Lancaster County deputies found child porn pictures on Poston’s electronic devices, according to police and court records. Deputies then arrested Poston, records show.

Poston is a registered sex offender who lived on Hance Avenue in Lancaster, according to the State Law Enforcement Division. Poston has a 2008 conviction for child molesting in Indiana, according to SLED and court records.

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Andrew Dys covers breaking news and public safety for The Herald, where he has been a reporter and columnist since 2000. He has won 51 South Carolina Press Association awards for his coverage of crime, race, justice, and people. He is author of the book “Slice of Dys” and his work is in the U.S. Library of Congress.