A Ward County man was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly possessing and sending suspected child sexual abuse material in an online messaging app.

Richard Lyle Thompson, 45, was arrested and charged with 21 counts of promoting or directing an obscene sexual performance by a minor and 21 counts of possession of certain materials prohibited. The Ward County Sheriff’s Department says the investigation into Thompson began in the late summer of 2021 after a cyber tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to the Internet Crimes Against Children task force.

While investigating the original cyber tip, another cyber tip was received from the same online messaging app reporting the transfer of more suspected child sexual abuse material.

Thompson is currently on supervised probation for pleading guilty to dissemination of obscene material in July 2021.