Tire Shop Owner Arrested on Child Porn Charges

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A Van Buren business owner has been arrested on 75 counts of Computer Child Pornography, according to police.

Ronald J. Beckford, 50, of Fort Smith, turned himself in to Van Buren police Saturday afternoon.

Police obtained a warrant to search the tire business in the 2700 block of Kibler Road after a ‘peer-to-peer’ network investigation determined child porn was being downloaded at the business, according to Det. Jonathan Wear.

Investigators seized Beckford’s computers and hard drives.

Officers later returned to Beckford’s business to arrest him, but found it was closed. Beckford called police saying he was going to commit suicide, Det. Wear said. His vehicle was found parked by the Arkansas River later in the day, however, he could not be found, according to police.

He later turned himself in, and was booked into the Crawford County Detention Center.