October raid leads to child porn charges against two Applegate men

Evidence gathered from search warrants served at several homes in the Ruch area in October has now resulted in child pornography charges against two men — one of whom was already in jail.

Posted: Dec 23, 2019 3:14 PM
Updated: Dec 23, 2019 3:31 PM

RUCH, Ore. — Evidence gathered from search warrants served at several homes in the Ruch area in October has now resulted in child pornography charges against two men — one of whom was already in jail.

Detectives and a SWAT team served those warrants at two homes on Upper Applegate Road on October 24, leading to the arrest of 41-year-old Joaquin Amadeus Cowart [pictured above].

"Cowart had felony warrants for absconding from parole, and for charges related to a domestic violence incident. He was lodged in the Jackson County jail without bail due to the State Parole Board warrant," the Jackson County Sheriff's Office said in a statement on Monday.

Cowart is also a registered sex offender who had not updated his registration at the time of his arrest. He has remained in jail ever since.

On Monday, detectives added more charges against Cowart — one count of Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse in the First Degree and five counts of Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree.

At the same time, detectives arrested another suspect in the ongoing investigation. 56-year-old Mark Daniel Root was found at his home in the first block of Upper Applegate Road, the Sheriff's Office said. His home was one of the two raided in October, along with Cowart's.

Root was lodged on Jackson County Jail on three counts of Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse in the First Degree and eight counts of Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree.

Both Cowart and Root are being held on $1 million bail for the new charges, the Sheriff's Office said.

JCSO said that its detectives were assisted in this investigation by the Medford Police Department, Oregon State Police and Southern Oregon High Tech Crimes Task Force.

Another man who lived on Upper Applegate Road was arrested and accused of downloading child and animal pornography just last week. None of the recently charged men lived together, nor were they immediate neighbors.

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