NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Putnam County commissioner is facing child pornography charges after he was arrested at his home Thursday.
U.S. Attorney Mark H. Wildasin announced Jimmy Ray Neal, 57, of Baxter, TN, was charged with possession, receipt and distribution of child pornography. After receiving a criminal complaint, FBI and Homeland Security Investigations agents executed a search warrant at his home.
The complaint alleged Neal was an administrator of a group on the social media app, Kik, in which sexual images of children were viewed and shared with other users.
U.S. Attorney Wildasin said the FBI began investigating the claims in July 2021, after an Oklahoma man was arrested on child pornography charges, and other users in the app group were identified. Neal allegedly went under the username, “tennesseemaster.”
A preliminary and detention hearing is set for next Tuesday at 2 p.m.
If convicted, Neal would be faced with a mandatory minimum of five years to 20 years in prison.