KEARNEY — A Kearney man faces prison time after uploading child pornography, which was found on several of his electronic devices.
Tyson Heaton, 39, pleaded guilty in Buffalo County District Court to five counts of felony possession of child porn on July 15, 2019. In exchange for his pleas the Buffalo County Attorney’s Office agreed to not file additional charges. Heaton will be listed as a convicted sex offender on the Nebraska State Patrol website.
Judge John Marsh accepted his pleas and ordered the state probation department to do a presentence investigation, including a sex offender evaluation. Findings of that report — including background information on a defendant, family and criminal history, employment history and a substance abuse evaluation — will help Marsh issue an appropriate sentence.
Sentencing will be in August.
In June 2019, Kearney police received a cyber tip of a photo of a nude juvenile female that had been downloaded, and was reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The photo had been uploaded to an IP address in Kearney, which was Heaton’s house, according to records.
Police contacted Heaton and served a search warrant at his house where they seized several electronic devices, including cellphones, an external hard drive and thumb drives.
In November, data from one of the cellphones was downloaded and showed 200 photos of juvenile females in various stages of undress. In December, data from a second seized cellphone was downloaded and 140 photos of juvenile females were found in sexually provocative positions.
From the 140 images, at least five were examined further and determined to be explicit child pornography.