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Alabama man faces child exploitation charges in Newton County

COVINGTON -- A 55-year-old Alabama man has been arrested and charged with sexual exploitation of a child, according to the Newton County Sheriff's Office.

Charles Richard McDowell of 2920 Moore Ave., Anniston, Ala., was arrested on Jan. 20 and in addition to the sexual exploitation charges was charged with electronically furnishing obscene material to a minor.

"Mr. McDowell had initiated conversation (via the Internet) with who he thought to be a middle school age female; however, it was one of our investigators," said NCSO Public Information Officer Courtney Morrison.

The investigation into McDowell's activities had been going on for well over a year, beginning in 2010, Morrison said.

McDowell allegedly sent nude photos as well as made inappropriate remarks during his conversations with the undercover officer, according to Morrison.

"At some point in the conversations, he actually disclosed his address," Morrison said, adding that subpoenas were already being processed to ascertain that information. Once investigators learned of his whereabouts, they contacted the Alabama Bureau of Investigation and with assistance from them, traveled to Alabama and made the arrest.

Morrison said according to jail records, McDowell is divorced and listed no place of employment.