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Child Predator Task Force Makes Two Arrests

Date Posted: Thursday, March 12th, 2015
Categories:  Criminal Department of Justice DOJ Press Releases

Two separate investigations by the Delaware Department of Justice’s Child Predator Task Force has resulted in the arrests of two men.

In the first case, an undercover investigation by the Child Predator Task Force led to the arrest of a Maryland man working as a martial arts instructor in Delaware under a false name in an apparent attempt to hide his identity as a registered sex offender.

On February 27, 37-year-old James Blankenship Jr., of Barclay, Maryland, was arrested after being extradited back to Delaware.

Late last year, the Task Force believes Blankenship began a chat conversation with an undercover investigator on a social network, then moved the conversation to texting. In ensuing conversations, the person being communicated with was told numerous times he was communicating with an underage boy, which he indicated that he was okay with.

An investigation into Blankenship revealed that he had a prior Maryland conviction in 2006 for sexual abuse of a minor, and was employed as a Maryland certified police officer at the time of that arrest. The investigation also revealed Blankenship was an active martial arts instructor in Delaware, using the alias name of Mark Hafer to avoid detection as a registered sex offender.

Blankenship was charged with two counts of sexual solicitation of a minor. He was arraigned and taken to the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, held on $100,000.00 cash bail.

James Blankenship a.k.a Mark Hafer

James Blankenship a.k.a Mark Hafer

On March 10, the Child Predator Task Force, with the assistance of a Delaware State Trooper, executed a search warrant at 1223 Kynlyn Drive in Wilmington, related to an investigation into the distribution of child pornography on the Internet.

When the search warrant was executed, detectives found 29-year-old Samuel Diamond, who said he lived alone in the home, and owned all of the computers and electronic devices in the residence. Detectives recovered several computers, external hard drives, and other electronic media evidence, that during a forensic preview, showed more than 25 images/videos of child pornography.

Diamond was charged with 25 counts of Dealing in Child Pornography. He was arraigned and ordered held on a secure bond of $500,000.00 at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center pending further court action.

Samuel Diamond

Samuel Diamond

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