OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office said they arrested one man, who is a “registered sexual predator,” for possession of child pornography on Sept. 2, according to the release.

Harold Benedict, 72, was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography and use of a two-way communication device to facilitate a felony. An investigation began in June 2022 involving “the possession of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) on a laptop computer which was turned over to the Okaloosa
County Sheriff’s Office,” according to the release.

On Sept. 2, Benedict admitted to owning and possessing a laptop which contained child sexual abuse material and told the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit he had “additional computer equipment and personal belonging in a storage unit located in Crestview.”

Deputies were able to get a search warrant on the storage unit where they “discovered additional pieces of evidence.”

According to the report, a man and his two children were fishing in an area near Pioneer Road and Antioch Road in Crestview on June 27 when he began talking with “an older white male sitting in an early 2000’s green SUV,” who turned out to be Benedict.

Benedict told the man he was out of gas and waiting for a friend to come help. The man helped Benedict and Benedict “insisted on repaying,” the man and offered him a laptop as a form of repayment. The man took the laptop and went home, per the release.

The man said he checked the laptop to make sure if was ok for his children . The man opened the “Recycle Bin” and found a “JPG” file and clicked restore on it. Upon opening it, the man found “multiple pictures and videos that depicted children of a young age committing sexual acts,” according to the release.

The man turned in the laptop to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies investigated the laptop and found a folder with “multiple pictures of naked young children and teens.”

The filenames appeared to be the age of the children, some were labeled “underage.” The children appeared to be “posing sexually and/or having intercourse.” The video files were of “very young girls, who did not appear of age having sexual intercourse.”

Benedict was identified on Aug. 16. Deputies spoke with Benedict on Sept. 2. He admitted to deputies he “searches for child sexual abuse material (CSAM) at least once a month.” Benedict was arrested that same day.