Nov. 29-MITCHELL - A former Aurora County deputy sheriff pleaded guilty to a child pornography charge that stemmed from him asking a minor for nude photos.
During a Nov. 22 hearing, David Suarez, 24, of Mitchell, changed his plea in connection to the handful of child pornography charges he was facing. He pleaded guilty to one count of possession, manufacturing and distribution of child pornography, a Class 4 felony that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
According to court documents, Suarez received numerous nude photos of a 17-year-old minor through Facebook messenger in late June. Authorities received reports of the messages from an unknown party in early July.
Court documents say Suarez admitted to receiving the nude photos when he was brought in for questioning. At one point during the investigation, Suarez told authorities he requested images from the minor. Agents with South Dakota's Department of Criminal Investigation led the investigation into Suarez.
Suarez was terminated from his role with the Aurora County Sheriff's Office following the child pornography charges brought against him. In a July 13 press release, Aurora County Sheriff Roman Briggs said Suarez was terminated from his role as a deputy immediately after learning of the investigation into Suarez.
"Due to a recent investigation conducted by the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, Deputy David Suarez is no longer employed at the Aurora County Sheriff's Office," Briggs said in a statement. "Once the Aurora County Sheriff's Office was notified of the investigation his employment with our agency was terminated."
Suarez was released from jail in July after posting a $5,000 cash bond. He is scheduled to be sentenced within a month.