The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office received a third-party tip that 34-year-old Jared Smith may be in possession of images or videos that depict child pornography.
Investigators sought to verify information received from the tipster. Earlier this week, through investigative efforts, probable cause was developed to obtain a search warrant for Smith’s residence on Hilton Head Island to collect evidence related to the crime of sexual exploitation of minors.
Investigators learned that Smith was an employee of the Beaufort County School District. The school district was made aware of the investigation once information was obtained to validate the original tip.
Investigators executed a search warrant at Smith’s home on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, and collected items to submit for digital forensic evaluation.
Tuesday night, the Sheriff’s Office Device Extraction Unit examined the phone seized from Smith and found media consistent with the crime of sexual exploitation of a minor.
An arrest warrant was obtained for Smith’s arrest. He was taken into custody late Wednesday afternoon and incarcerated at the Beaufort County Detention Center.
This investigation is ongoing. Additional evidence collected during the search will be forensically examined to determine if additional charges may be forthcoming.