Stolen mail leads to man’s arrest on 500+ charges of child porn, sexual abuse of animals, mail and ID theft

Discovered in a duffle bag was mail belonging to some Arizona, Louisiana and Texas residents and businesses

Stolen mail leads to man’s arrest on 500+ charges of child porn, sexual abuse of animals, mail and ID theft
BOOKED: Christopher Aaron Stanfield, 33, of Natchitoches, remains in Natchitoches Parish Detention Center, where he was booked the evening of Oct. 6, booking records show. (Source: Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office)

(KSLA) — The discovery of mail stolen from some Arizona, Louisiana and Texas residents and businesses about eight months ago spurred what authorities say has turned into a disturbing investigation into the internet’s dark web.

Now a Louisiana man faces hundreds of charges of child pornography and a handful of charges of sexual abuse of animals, not to mention multiple charges of mail theft and identity theft.

Christopher Aaron Stanfield, 33, of Natchitoches, remains in Natchitoches Parish Detention Center, where he was booked the evening of Oct. 6, booking records show.

Authorities announced Wednesday that numerous more charges have been filed against him.

MAY 2020

The inquiry began with a traffic stop about 10 a.m. May 28 in Rapides Parish. Booking records show sheriff’s deputies arrested Stanfield on nine charges, including one count each of:

  • simple burglary,
  • theft,
  • illegal possession of stolen things,
  • illegal possession of stolen firearms,
  • possession of a firearm by a convicted felon,
  • criminal trespass,
  • possession of a Schedule IV Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS),
  • possession of a Schedule I CDS, and,
  • having an expired motor vehicle inspection sticker.

A search of his vehicle also uncovered a duffle bag containing several pieces of mail belonging to 30 households and businesses in Natchitoches Parish, the Sheriff’s Office there reports. Some of the mail contained personal and business checks, credit card numbers, bank statements and “other private information commonly used in identity theft schemes,” Natchitoches authorities say.

Stolen mail leads to man’s arrest on 500+ charges of child porn, sexual abuse of animals, mail and ID theft

But the stolen mail impacted people well beyond Natchitoches Parish. Also in the duffle bag was mail belonging to residents and businesses in Arizona, Texas and the central Louisiana parish of Rapides.

JUNE 2020

Stanfield was released on bond the evening of June 1 pending the ongoing investigation in Rapides Parish, booking records show.

Also in early June, Rapides sheriff’s detectives again contacted their counterparts in Natchitoches Parish, this time to report that they also had seized a package from Stanfield’s vehicle that contained eyeglass frames and sunglasses. Further investigation revealed that package had been reported as stolen May 27 from a residential mailbox on Louisiana Highway 1, Natchitoches Parish authorities report.

Natchitoches Parish detectives and representatives of several other law enforcement agencies subsequently met in Rapides Parish to share what their separate but related investigations had uncovered.

OCTOBER 2020

Natchitoches Parish authorities ultimately got warrants to arrest Stanfield on 30 counts of mail theft and 11 counts of identity theft in their jurisdiction. They caught up with him Oct. 6 at Riverview Inn Apartments in Natchitoches.

Detectives and narcotics agents seized electronic equipment, suspected narcotics and drug paraphernalia when they searched Stanfield’s apartment at the time of his arrest, authorities report.

Stanfield has remained in Natchitoches Parish Detention Center since he was booked into the lockup that evening on drug charges as well as the 41 counts of theft.

JANUARY 2021

Meantime, authorities report, detectives discovered what appeared to be pornography involving juveniles on the electronic device they confiscated Oct. 6 from Stanfield’s apartment.

Stanfield reportedly told detectives during a brief interview that he had been active on the dark web since January 2020.

“The dark web is the World Wide Web content that exists on darknets — overlay networks that use the internet but require specific software, configurations or authorization to access,” according to a Facebook post by the Natchitoches Sheriff’s Office. “Through the dark web, private straphanger networks can communicate and conduct business anonymously without divulging identifying information, such as a user’s location.”

The volume of evidence prompted detectives to ask for help from the Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations and the Bossier City marshal’s Northwest Louisiana Crimes Against Children task force unit.

On Jan. 25, Louisiana State Police investigators reported to Natchitoches that they had found the following on the seized equipment:

  • 513 pornographic images involving children under the age of 12,
  • 6 pornographic videos involving children under the age of 12,
  • 4 images of sexual acts involving animals, and,
  • 1 video of sexual acts involving animals.

That resulted in hundreds more charges being filed against Stanfield, including:

  • 519 counts of pornography involving juveniles,
  • 5 counts of sexual abuse of animals, and,
  • 1 count of possession of child pornography with intent to distribute.

His bonds on the Natchitoches Parish charges total $884,000.

Results of the ongoing investigation will be presented to the Natchitoches Parish district attorney’s office for review and prosecution, authorities say.

Also involved in the investigation are the U.S. Postal Service and the Natchitoches Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force.

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