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Current Sheriff's Office News

Posted on: November 2, 2020

New Jersey Man Faces Charges in Alabama Exploitation Case

On September 18, 2020, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received information about the possible exploitation of a child in Alabama.  NCMEC began communicating with law enforcement agencies to investigate the complaint, and they notified investigators from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office of a potential victim in the Shelby County area.  Shelby County investigators worked with other law enforcement officials across multiple states including the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office in New Jersey to follow up on the case. 

Shelby County Sheriff’s Office investigators determined that a suspect in another state had been inappropriately communicating with a victim in Shelby County, Alabama.  On November 2, 2020, investigators with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office obtained three warrants for Sean M Higgins, 30 years old of Palmyra, New Jersey for Electronic Solicitation of a Child, Dissemination/Display of Child Pornography, and Sexual Extortion as part of the investigation.  Each warrant has a $15,000 bond for a total of $45,000 in bonds.  Higgins is currently in the Burlington County Detention Center in New Jersey on other charges.

The Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with additional information about the case to call the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office at (205) 670-6000.  You can also submit an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers at 205-254-7777, or on their website at www.crimestoppersmetroal.com.

Sean Higgins may have been in contact with other people in Alabama.  If you believe you are a victim or know someone who has been a victim, you are encouraged to report it to your local law enforcement agency or contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at www.missingkids.org. 

For more information on the crimes charged, you can view the Alabama Criminal Code. Select Title 13A and Chapter 6 for the charges of Electronic Solicitation of a Child and Sexual Extortion and Chapter 12 for the charge of Dissemination of Child Pornography.


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