Key, courtesy of Lee County Sheriff’s Office

Lee County sheriff’s deputies have arrested a local man on charges of possessing child pornography.

Christopher Nathaniel Key, 43, of the Prince Downtown Motel on Carthage Street in Sanford, was charged Thursday with ten counts of third degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

According to Capt. Jeff Johnson of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, the arrest is the culmination of an investigation that began in April with a cyber-tip that Key had downloaded pornographic images of children. At the time of his arrest, deputies seized “at least a phone” and possibly other computer equipment from Key.

“We’ve been looking at him since April,” Johnson said. “It just takes time to track down IP addresses and secure search warrants.”

Johnson said he didn’t expect any other suspects to be arrested by the sheriff’s office, explaining that any others involved in exchanging images with Key likely aren’t local. Key was placed in the Lee County Jail under $75,000 secured bond.