Official: Upstate deputy used alias ‘Redneck Rick’, solicited nude photos from child


The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office said a deputy was arrested by the US Department of Homeland Security and his position with the sheriff’s office was terminated on Feb. 3.

Lt. Kevin Bobo with the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office said Homeland Security contacted the sheriff’s office on Jan. 31 about an active investigation into inappropriate communication with a juvenile female who resides in another state.

“The investigation revealed the telephone number that had been used in the communication with the minor belonged to Sergeant Chris Wilbanks,” Bobo stated in an e-mail.

Bobo said Wilbanks met with Homeland Security investigators on Feb. 3 and was later arrested. His employment at the sheriff’s office was terminated following his arrest.

Bryan Cox, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed Wilbanks was arrested on a charge related to an ongoing investigation into the transmission of child pornography and was booked into the Greenville County Detention Center.

The case was accepted for prosecution by the US Attorney’s Office and Wilbanks made his first appearance in federal court on Monday, Cox said.

Cox was unable to provide the specific charge and additional details because the US Attorneys Office took over control of the case.

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