Upstate deputy posed online as ‘Redneck Rick,’ coerced child to send nude pics, feds say

Sgt. Chris Wilbanks accused of having inappropriate communication with juvenile

Updated: 11:29 PM EST Feb 6, 2017


Sgt. Chris Wilbanks

Sgt. Chris Wilbanks


An Upstate deputy was arrested after federal investigators say that he coerced an 11-year-old girl into sending him a nude picture, then told her to send more naked photographs or he would show the first one to others.

Sgt. Chris Wilbanks was arrested Friday by Homeland Security investigators, according to Lt. Kevin Bobo, with the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office.

Wilkins is charged with production of child pornography.

Homeland Security Special Agent Steven Miles said in a sworn statement that Wilbanks posed as a 14-year-old boy nicknamed “Redneck Rick” on social media and talked to the girl, who said she was 12.

Miles said the girl sent about a dozen pornographic images to Wilbanks and was crying in many of them.

On Jan. 31, the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the Department of Homeland Security about an active investigation that agency was conducting regarding inappropriate communication with a juvenile female who resides in another state, Bobo said.

Bobo said the investigation revealed that the telephone number that had been used in the communication with the minor belonged to Wilbanks.

On Friday, Wilbanks met with the investigators from Homeland Security at the Sheriff’s Office and was later arrested, according to Bobo.

He was fired from the Sheriff’s Office, Bobo said.

Wilbanks had been a deputy for 18 years.


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