IDABEL, Okla. – Agents from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit, assisted by officers from the McCurtain County Sheriffs Office and the Idabel Police Department, arrested 55-year-old Defon Jesse Mergel Sr. for multiple child pornography charges, as well as a firearms charge.
The case originated in September 2020 when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) forwarded a cyber tip they received from an electronic service provider to the OSBI. The OSBI ICAC Unit opened an investigation upon receiving the tip. Based on evidence gathered during their investigation, a search warrant was served on August 26, 2021 for a residence on Stone Haven Road in Idabel belonging to Mergel. He was arrested without incident and booked into the McCurtain County Jail.
Mergel is charged with Possession of Child Pornography, Distribution of Child Pornography, Violation of the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act and Possession of a Sawed-Off Shotgun.
If you suspect a child is being sexually exploited, contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children immediately at 1-800-THE-LOST or www.cybertipline.com. You can also contact the OSBI Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit at (800) 522-8017 or email@example.com.