A Raleigh man charged with possession of child pornography on Saturday came to the attention of police when he brought his computer to a local repair shop.
Leander Dewey Jones, 63, who lives on Brentwood Road, was charged with 12 counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. Jones worked as a Santa performer in the region as “Santa Lee Jones,” and was a member of the Triangle Santa Buddies, an association of Christmas-time performers.
A computer technician at Wild Dog Computer Sales off Capital Boulevard found child pornography on Jones’ computer while attempting to diagnose a malfunction, according to a search warrant executed Friday night and made public Wednesday. The Raleigh police officer called to the shop noted that the folder containing pornographic images was created in August 2014.
Two detectives with the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force then conducted a consensual search of Jones’ computer, according to the warrant, and found information indicating that he had accessed child pornography from an external source, such as an external hard drive.
The subsequent search of Jones’ home and van yielded three external hard drives, with storage space totaling more than 2,000 gigabytes. The detectives also found a “Spy pen camera” and “Santa meeting notebook,” according to the warrant.
Jones is the second member of the Triangle Santa Buddies to be charged with a sex crime in four years. In 2012, John Thomas Peters, a member of the group that went by “Santa John,” was sentenced to 20 months in prison for soliciting sex with a 15-year-old girl.