Child porn suspect allegedly contacted ‘numerous’ local teens for nude photos
By Dwayne Bremer
Mar 7, 2014, 20:36
Marcus Ryan Ladner
Child porn suspect Marcus Ryan Ladner contacted "numerous" girls under the age of 15 on social media sites during the past six months, asking them to share nude pictures and--in at-least one case--to meet with him, authorities said Thursday.
New details of Ladner's alleged scheme came to light Thursday at a preliminary hearing in Waveland Municipal Court.
Ladner, 21, was arrested last week on two counts of enticing a child and three counts of possession of child pornography.
Waveland Police Chief David Allen testified Thursday that Ladner was the mastermind of an elaborate social media scheme in which he contacted underage girls and asked them to send nude photos.
Allen said Ladner used several different aliases and screen names on Facebook and other social media sites. His aliases included Ryan Huff, Courtney Legion, and Justin Andrews.
Once the underage girls began communicating with Ladner, Allen said, he asked them to share photos with him via text messages, which some did.
He then used threats such as "I'm going to tell your parents" to get the girls to send more pictures, Allen said.
Ladner's scheme began to unravel in January when a 14-year-old-girl approached school officials of the Bay-Waveland School District to say that she was scared due to some illicit pictures she and another girl had sent.
Allen said he began to investigate and discovered that Ladner was behind the scheme and that many other girls involved.
"He had contacted numerous girls as Courtney Legion," Allen said. "He was terrorizing some of the females for months."
After returning a cell phone to one of the alleged victim's family in February, Allen said he was notified by the girl's mother that Ladner was trying to contact her daughter again.
Allen said he retrieved the phone and began communicating with Ladner, pretending he was a fictitious 14-year-old girl named "Madison."
During the course of Ladner's conversation with Allen, Ladner sent two illicit photos of one of the victims, and he tried to solicit more photos from "Madison," Allen said.
Police obtained information from the cell phone provider which showed the phone number used during the conversations belonged to Ladner, Allen said.
Ladner was arrested on Feb. 28 after the U.S. Marshal's office tracked him down in Ocean Springs. Officials seized Ladner's cell phone, which allegedly had several illicit images of underage girls on it, Allen said.
Ladner gave a full confession and apologized for his actions in subsequent interviews with police, Allen said.
After the hearing, Municipal Judge Preston Mauffray found there was enough evidence to send the case to the grand jury.
Ladner's bond was lowered from $700,000 to $500,000, officials said.
Allen said if any parents believe their children may have been communicating with Ladner or any of his aliases, they can call the Waveland Police Department at 228-467-3669 or central dispatch at 228-255-9191.