Cannon airman charged for child pornography

Senior Airman Zebulon Benne was arrested Wednesday and remains in jail on a $500,000 bond.

CNJ staff

A 24-year-old Cannon Air Force Base airman faces 60 felony charges, accused by a special Internet sting squad of downloading and distributing child pornography.

Senior Airman Zebulon Benne was arrested Wednesday and remains in jail on a $500,000 bond.

Curry County Undersheriff Wesley Waller said an investigation was launched when investigators from the sheriff’s special Internet unit found evidence Benne was sharing and exchanging child pornography.

Investigators executed a search warrant at Benne’s home on Fairway Terrace. Waller said Benne’s computer contained at least 50 images of pre-pubescent children engaged in sexual acts.

The Curry County Sheriff’s Office, Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office collaborated in the investigation, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office.

Waller said children in the photographs have been identified as documented victims through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Benne faces 50 counts of sexual exploitation of children and 10 counts of manufacturing child pornography.

Waller said Benne was charged with manufacturing child pornography based on evidence he copied or printed sexual images involving children.

Waller said there was no evidence of any exposure or contact with local children.

The arrest is part of the Curry County Sheriff’s Office ongoing Internet predator interdiction program and, “While conducting Internet Crimes Against Children investigations, investigators look for persons who are trading child pornography in public file sharing programs on the Internet,” Waller said.

Benne has been stationed at Cannon approximately 10 months, the release said.

Waller said military officials have been advised of the investigation.

The case will be prosecuted in the state court system.