PRINCETON — Four people in Mercer County are facing charges ranging from possession and distribution of sexually explicit material involving minors to grand theft of an automobile after being arrested by detectives from the Department of Criminal Investigations Bureau of Mercer County Sheriff.

The following people were arrested on Wednesday by members of the Criminal Investigations Bureau.

Allen Ray Howerton Jr., 35, of Princeton, was arrested on four counts of child pornography, according to Detective Sgt. Steven A. Sommers of the West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force .

Howerton was charged with: possession/distribution of sexually explicit material involving minors, 50-600 images; possession/distribution of sexually explicit material involving minors, 50 images or less; possession/distribution of sexually explicit material involving minors, 600 images or more; and possession/distribution of sexually explicit material involving minors, 600 images or more.

Howerton is being held at the Southern Regional Jail on $50,000 bond or bond.

A second person, Robert Brian Lusk, 23, of Athens, was arrested for possession/distribution of sexually explicit material involving minors, 50 to 600 images, Sommers said. Sommers was the lead investigator in the Howerton and Lusk cases.

In a separate and unrelated case, 24-year-old Derek Adam Schipper of Princeton was arrested on charges of grand theft auto, grand larceny and criminal conspiracy. Gregory Stone Bryson, 25, of Princeton, was arrested for accessory before the fact – grand theft of an automobile, grand larceny and criminal conspiracy, Sommers said. Detective MT Hatfield was the lead investigator on the case.

— Contact Greg Jordan at [email protected]

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