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Bench warrant issued for child porn suspect

POSTED: January 16, 2014 8:12 p.m.

A bench warrant was issued for a Savannah man who was caught as part of an online child pornography sweep last year.

Soufi Mahmoud failed to appear for criminal plea day Jan. 7, and a bench warrant was issued for him by Effingham County Superior Court Judge Gates Peed.

Mahmoud was indicted Sept. 16, 2013, on three counts of sexual exploitation of children. Effingham County Sheriff’s Office investigators allege that Soufi distributed four videos March 10, 2013, of individuals under legal age engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Authorities charged Soufi with distributing a similar video online on March 11 and another video on March 12.

Soufi was one of five men arrested last April following a months-long investigation by the ECSO and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Three men arrested in the sweep — Jose Gomez, William Oldfield and Dale Andrew Davis — pled guilty to the charges last year. Oldfield is from Springfield and the other four arrested are from Savannah.

Another man accused of online child pornography pled guilty Jan. 8 and received five years of probation.

Michael Butler could have faced a maximum of 20 years in prison. He was charged with distributing multiple images of child pornography. He was indicted Aug. 1, 2013, and entered a plea of not guilty at a Sept. 11, 2013, arraignment.


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