Mug shot of a white male with facial hair.May 20, 2020

WALTON COUNTY, Fla— A Santa Rosa Beach man has been charged with 26 counts of possession of child pornography.

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office Special Victims Unit (SVU) received multiple reports that a user was uploading child pornography to an online storage platform. The suspect was identified as Christopher Eugene Owens, 34, of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

An online investigation was conducted in which Owens contacted an undercover investigator’s 13-year-old persona. During this online communication, Owens solicited who he believed to be a 13-year-old girl for nude images and sent videos of himself masturbating.

On March 12th, 2020, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Bureau, SVU, and support of the Department of Homeland Security and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement served a residential search warrant at 233 Maddox Street, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

Christopher Eugene Owens was arrested on scene and was charged with five counts of transmitting harmful material to minors, using a computer to seduce/solicit a minor and the use of a two-way communication device to facilitate a felony. Owens bonded out the following day by posting a $20,000 bond.

A forensic examination of electronic devices seized during the residential search warrant resulted in additional charges.

On May 11th, Owens surrendered himself to the Walton County Jail on 26 counts of possession of child pornography, nine counts of transmission of child pornography, and one count of using a two-way communication device to facilitate a felony.

Mr. Owens was released the following day by posting the $50,000 bond.