Local man jailed after multi-state probe

By: By Chris Berendt - cberendt@civitasmedia.com

By Chris Berendt



An investigation that originated in Florida landed an Autryville man behind bars this week, according to Sampson County Sheriff’s authorities.

Devon Vinson, 23, of 149 Reagan Lane, Autryville, was ultimately charged with eight felonies, including soliciting child by computer and seven counts of disseminating obscene material to a minor.

According to reports, Vinson was served the charges at the Sheriff’s Office Monday afternoon. Sheriff’s Lt. Marcus Smith said the charges stemmed from a probe in Florida that resulted in warrants against Vinson.

“The suspect was arrested on charges that stem from an investigation where the suspect sent inappropriate photos to a juvenile female victim in Florida,” Smith said Tuesday. “A tip was received from investigators in Florida about the inappropriate conduct and from that an investigation into the suspect began here.”

The disseminating obscene materials charge stems from pictures found, and the soliciting a child by computer charge encompasses any electronic device, Smith has explained.

According to N.C. General Statute, when a person over 16, using a computer or other electronic device, and with the “intent to commit an unlawful sex act, entices, advises, coerces, orders or commands” a person under 16 and at least five years younger to meet for the purpose of committing an unlawful sex act, the first person has committed the crime of solicitation of a child by computer.

Investigators often provide limited details in such cases, especially those involving juveniles, the names of whom are not released. Smith said Tuesday that no further information was currently available.

Vinson was placed under $19,000 secured bond and given a court date of this Friday, July 31.

The arrest was the second such one made by sheriff’s authorities in recent weeks. A 22-year-old Roseboro man was jailed on similar charges at the beginning of July after a 14-year-old girl’s mother told authorities she found “inappropriate” photos on the young girl’s phone. Along with charges of disseminating obscene material to a minor and soliciting child by computer, that man received an additional charge of statutory rape and was placed under $100,000 bond.

Reach staff writer Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.

Reach staff writer Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.