An investigation by the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office resulted in the arrest of two men on child pornography charges Wednesday.

Hector Mercado, 39, of Oklahoma City, and Adam F. Roberts, 44, of Yukon, each face felony charges of possession of child pornography. A warrant was issued for their arrest Monday by Cleveland County Judge Lori Walkley.

CCSO investigator Det. Matt Sandburg was involved in the investigation. A resident approached law enforcement and claimed to have seen pictures of a child in a lewd pose on Roberts' electronic device and used by him.

Upon further investigation, Sandburg found many of the same images on Mercado's social media account anddiscovered the photos were of a juvenile female who was connected to both men, according to the Sheriff's Office.

"CCSO staff has put a lot of time and energy into helping the youth in our communities. Working on cases such as these, while taxing, mean that we can prevent other children from being victimized," Sandburg said. "The detectives assigned to the Criminal Investigations Detachment put in many hours investigating child victim cases. We are passionate about protecting the youth in our community."

According to the sheriff's office, the juvenile lives in Cleveland County. Because the suspects lived in different counties, the U.S. Marshal's Metro Fugitive Task Force was asked to help arrest the pair. CCSO investigator Buck Stevens was in the task force, and Sandburg was present at the arrests.

"I got into law enforcement to protect innocents against bullies. Nowhere is that more important than in the case of child victim crimes," Cleveland County Sheriff Todd Gibson said. "I am extremely proud of Det. Sandburg and the members of our criminal investigations detachment for the work they do to bring child predators to justice. Under the leadership of Capt. Ronnie Johnson, our team has become very effective at investigating and tracking these crimes to build cases that will get predators off the street."

Bond for both men was set at $100,000. While no court dates have been set, judges have been assigned to the cases. Walkley will preside over Roberts' case, and county Judge Thad Balkman will preside over Mercado's case.

Sandburg said residents shouldn't be afraid to come forward to help.

"We, as law enforcement, must partner with our community to help protect those that cannot protect themselves," he said.

Gibson said if residents see something illegal, they should say something.

"We can all play a role in protecting Oklahoma's children," he said.

To call in a tip, residents can call Crime Stoppers at 366-STOP (7867).

The Task Force was also involved in another case earlier in the week.

On Tuesday, the Task Force arrested Joseph Stephens, 32, of Lexington, who on Sept. 4 left the Cleveland County Courthouse before the jury returned with a verdict in his sex abuse trial. A jury found Stephens guilty of lewd or indecent acts on a child under 16.

U.S. Marshals found Stephens at an Oklahoma City Super 8 Motel. Marshals arrested him without incident. His wife, Tiffany, was at the hotel and was arrested in connection with felony harboring a fugitive.

Stephens was charged in June 2017 and released on $15,000 bond in July 2017, according to court records. Stephens was not in custody at the time of his trial.

Cleveland County District Judge Lori Walkley issued a felony arrest for absconding prior to a verdict being returned. The jury found Stephens guilty and recommended more than 100 years in prison for his three felony counts.

Both Joseph and Tiffany Stephens were booked into the Oklahoma County jail.

Recommended for you