Arkansas 911 News

Alleged: Child Porn Search Warrant Executed; Felony Arrest – GARLAND COUNTY


Posted by Arkansas 911 News Chief Editor Paul Maddox

All suspects are presumed innocent until determined guilty in court.

Garland County Sheriff’s Deputy Standiford reports that he is a member of the Arkansas State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and on December 12, 2019, was assigned to investigate a case assigned to him by the unit.

A cyber tip was generated by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in reference to a hotline report from the social App “MeWe” located in California.  The report was that an account with the user name “cvsyoung” had uploaded 2 images of child abuse sexual material.

Following a lengthy investigation involving multiple subpoenas and search warrants, Dep. Standiford was able to identify Michael Paul Hamel, 29, of Dome Lane in Garland County (formerly Fairwood Circle in Garland County).

Michael Paul Hamel, 29, of Dome Lane in Garland County – Allegedly sent child porn to an app using his cell phone.

Detectives with the Hot Springs Police Department executed a search warrant at Mr. Hamel’s home, at the time, on Fairwood Circle.

Mr. Hamel admitted to using the MeWe App on his phone to exchange child pornography.  He told police that he has been viewing child porn for years.  He told detectives that any illegal images would be found on his cell phone.  He also said that he deleted other images from his computer devices several months ago.  5 electronic devices were seized including a cell phone belonging to the suspect.

A forensic extraction of cell phone was done.  Dep. Standiford reviewed the material extracted from the cell phone.  The material included over 30 pics of girls under the age of 14 in various stages of nudity.  The pics were determined to be in violation of state and federal law.  The other devices that were confiscated were sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for investigation.

Officers obtained an arrest warrant for Mr. Hamel and entered it into the police computer system.

On April 21, 2021, around 8PM, Mr. Hamel was served the warrant and arrested at the Garland County Detention Center and charged with Felony Possessing Matter Depicting Sexually Explicit Conduct Involving A Child x10 with bond set at $25,000.