COVINGTON, Ga. — A man was arrested in Charlotte County, Florida, in connection with a child pornography investigation in Covington, Georgia, and Ontario, Canada.
The suspect, 37-year-old Nathan Nicholas Potter, was arrested by the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office at the Flamingo Motel in Punta Gorda, Florida, on warrants taken by the Covington Police Department.
This story has been updated to include a statement from an official with Discord, a voice and messaging app cited by police.
Potter was identified by the CPD detectives — as well as Canadian authorities — for allegedly coercing a child to send nude photos of herself through mobile apps. He was captured as he was attempting to leave the motel in a rented moving truck.
Potter is currently being held without bond at the Charlotte County Jail and will be extradited to Newton County.
“Detective Julie English did an outstanding job identifying Potter as a suspect in this case and acted as a liaison with investigators in Punta Gorda, Florida, and Ontario, Canada, on this investigation that may involve many other victims," CPD Capt. Ken Malcom said. "Potter’s arrest was for the warrants obtained by the CPD for criminal attempt to commit sexual exploitation of children, computer or electronic pornography and child molestation.
"Additionally, Potter was charged with possessing photographs of sexual performance by a child and compiling computer pornography involving a minor by Charlotte County Detective Don Woekle. Parents need to always be vigilant about their children’s internet use. In this case, a parent discovered their child had been engaging in conversations in third-party app chatrooms with Potter, who attempted to convince the teen that he was also a teenager. We believe at least two sexual predators were lurking in this one chatroom [Discord] with 30 unsuspecting teenage girls.”
Sean Li, the director of trust and safety for Discord, issued this statement about the arrest:
“We’re committed to ensuring that Discord is a positive and safe place for all our users. We have a zero-tolerance approach to illegal activity on our platform and take immediate action when we become aware of it. We use a mix of proactive and reactive tools to keep activity that violates our policies off the platform. This includes automated search tools that scan photos and videos for exploitative content, holding community moderators accountable for upholding our policies and also providing in-platform reporting mechanisms to surface violations.”
The company offered an online Parent's Guide to Discord with information about safety and user controls.