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Barnum man charged with sex abuse

Joseph Hardy

A Barnum man is facing numerous charges including sex abuse and possession of a firearm by a felon after an investigation by Webster County and Fort Dodge detectives.

Joseph Hardy, 35, is charged with second-degree sex abuse with persons under the age of 12, a Class B felony; possession of a firearm by a felon, a Class D felony; two counts of child endangerment, an aggravated misdemeanor; and possession of marijuana, a serious misdemeanor, according to the Webster County Sheriff’s Office.

On Tuesday, a Webster County sheriff’s deputy met with an individual at the Law Enforcement Center where an allegation was made of possible child pornography on Hardy’s phone. Other information was gathered that the suspect allegedly possessed a firearm and illegal narcotics.

A criminal background check revealed that Hardy was prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Later that day, Hardy was located in the Dolliver Memorial State Park area near Lehigh where a search warrant was executed on his vehicle and person. During the search, a cell phone, firearm and illegal narcotics were seized.

A search warrant was then executed of the residence at 1564 190th St. in Webster County. During the course of the search, storage devices, cell phones, illegal narcotics, and drug paraphernalia were seized.

Hardy is currently being held in the Webster County Jail on $60,000 cash bond.

This incident is currently under investigation and anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Webster County Sheriff’s Office or Webster County Crime Stoppers by calling anonymously at 515-573-1444 or online at www.wccrimestoppers.com, or by texting “LEC” and the tip to CRIMES (274637)

The Webster County Sheriff’s Office was assisted in this investigation by the Fort Dodge Police Department.

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