February 7, 2024


The internet is a dangerous place for an unmonitored child. On February 6, 2024, also known as Safer Internet Day, members of the Bay County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division, working with the Walton County Sheriff's Office and Homeland Security Investigations, served a search warrant at the Panama City Beach residence of Cosme Martin Hernandez.

Hernandez was using the internet for the purposes of downloading and distributing images containing the sexual performance of a child. During the search warrant a computer was located which contained numerous images and videos of the sexual exploitation of minor children.

Hernandez was taken to the Bay County Jail where he was charged with (12) counts of Possession of The Sexual Performance of a Child. Additional charges are expected once the computer forensic analysis is completed.

Sheriff Ford strongly urges Bay County parents to use SMART tips to help keep children safe while online.

Prepared by R. Corley
Information by Lt. J. Mathis
Approved by Chief J. Heape