Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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September 26, 2013

1 indicted in child porn case

BLUEFIELD — A federal grand jury meeting in Charleston this week has returned an indictment alleging that a Mercer County man possessed “hundreds of images and videos of child pornography,” according to the indictment that was filed Wednesday at U.S. District Court in Bluefield.

Eric A. Hitt, 28, of Princeton, was arrested on July 16, following an investigation by the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department and an investigator with the West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Hitt was arraigned the following day by Mercer County Magistrate Sandra Dorsey who set bond at $10,000 cash/surety, and the defendant was released.

The federal indictment was returned on Sept. 24, and filed on Wednesday.

The indictment alleges that Hitt possessed computer graphic image files “that involved prepubescent minors and which had been shipped and transported in an affecting interstate and foreign commerce by any means, including a computer.”

Along with the single-count of the indictment, the court document includes a “forfeiture” count, requiring the defendant to “forfeit to the United States any visual depiction and any books, magazines, periodicals, films, videotapes” as part of the indictment as well as a Seagate Barracuda 1 TB hard drive and a Western Digital external hard drive.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa G. Johnston presented the government’s case to the grand jury. Hitt was arrested on state charges in mid-July, and the case remained under investigation at the time. The defendant was still free on bond on Wednesday afternoon.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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