A Tuscaloosa man was charged with 10 felony charges related to the possession and dissemination of child pornography this week after a tip from a social network sparked an investigation into his online activity.

According to new court documents filed Tuesday, an unnamed social network sent a tip to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in April about concerns over a message sent on their platform in April.

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The tip said an IP address in Tuscaloosa, Alabama had sent a private chat message in February with two files attached that allegedly depicted the sexual abuse of children.

The NCMEC got the tip to the West Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force, who launched an investigation that connected the IP address logged by the network to 37-year-old Patrick Thomas Oaks, a Tuscaloosa resident.

On August 25th, agents of the WAHTTF searched Oaks' residence in Tuscaloosa, where he allegedly admitted sending the explicit files to other users on the social network.

Oaks was arrested and charged with eight counts of possession of obscene matter depicting persons under 17 years of age and two counts of disseminating the same.

He was booked in the Tuscaloosa County Jail, where he has since been released on a combined bond set at $180,000. His mugshot was not publicly available Thursday morning.

Top Stories from the Tuscaloosa Thread (8/29 - 9/5)

19 of the Top Stories published by the Tuscaloosa Thread during the week of August 29th, 2022.

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