CLIFTON — An area man has pleaded not guilty after being indicted on 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Neal Lee Tuomi entered the not guilty plea in Greenlee County Superior Court. He is currently being held in Greenlee County Jail on $250,000 bond.

The indictment, dated Oct. 28, 2019, outlines 10 instances where Tuomi is alleged to have “distributed, received, electronically transmitted, possessed or exchanged” images of minor children under 15 years old engaged in “exploitive exhibition or other sexual conduct.”

The alleged crimes were discovered by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and cover the period of Aug. 20, 2019, to Oct. 23, 2019.

Tuomi was arrested in Imperial County, Calif., after leaving Morenci and extradited back to Greenlee County for trial.

Assistant Arizona Attorney General Todd Lawson is prosecuting the case for the state.

The Attorney General's Office described Tuomi as a "Morenci man"; however, Freeport-McMoRan officials told the Copper Era that Tuomi was not a permanent resident of the community, rather he was working for a contractor at the mine.

Editor's note: This story was edited at 3:07 p.m. Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, to correct Tuomi's residence status.

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