Marine arrested on child sex crimes in Pender County

Justin Ryan Collins (Photo: PCSO)

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — An active-duty Marine has been arrested on child sex crimes in Pender County.

Pender County Sheriff’s Office arrested 21-year-old Justin Ryan Collins, a Marine based at Camp Lejeune, for solicitation of a child by computer, first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and indecent liberties with a child.

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Collins was arrested on base Thursday.

PCSO says detectives received a report that Collins was messaging two teenage girls using the social media app Snapchat. One of the teens had been in contact with Collins for several months, according to detectives.

Criminal charges were obtained by the sheriff’s officer after Collins allegedly expressed interest in having sexual relations with one of the girls and offered to meet her in Pender County.

He is in the Pender County Jail under a secured $200,000 bond.

If you know any information, contact Detective Sgt. Steve Clinard at (910) 259-1437.

“The sheriff’s office stresses the importance of parents familiarizing themselves with the various social media apps accessible to their children, the sheriff’s office wrote in a news release. “Parents need to monitor their children’s activity and take steps to safe-guard them from on-line predators. The sheriff’s office offers informational meetings with parents, schools and churches regarding these dangers.”