Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

February 13, 2014

Sheriff’s detective tracks child porn case to Kentucky

TAZEWELL, Va. — A detective with the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office assisted military police in the arrest of Cpl. Gregory M. Willis, 26, serving with the U.S. Army at Fort Campbell, Ky., on charges that he possessed more than 7,000 images and 54 videos containing child pornography.

Detective Sgt. Mike Brown of the Tazewell Sheriff’s Office’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, initiated the investigation after tracing an image “sharing” site back to Fort Campbell.

“The initial investigation indicated that the IP (Internet Protocol) address was located in Bluefield, Va.,” according to a press release prepared by Major Harold Heatley, chief field deputy of the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office. Heatley said that the suspect “was familiar with a physical address in Bluefield, Va.”

As part of the investigation, law enforcement downloaded images of child pornography, “in an undercover capacity,” and obtained an administrative subpoena that was issued by the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office in order to obtain subscriber information.

According to the press release, law enforcement determined that the service address went back to Clarksville, Tenn., and the billing address was Fort Campbell, Ky. Detective Sgt. Brown contacted military police with Fort Campbell and the MPs executed the search warrant. The search resulted in the seizure of the several items used for storing digital media.

Willis pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography in excess of five images and five videos on Dec. 5, 2013, and in January, was sentenced to two years in federal prison, busted to private, forfeited all pay and allowances and given a bad conduct discharge from the military.

“This case was brought to light by the hard work of the Tazewell (Internet Crimes Against Children task force) agents that work diligently on matters regarding the safety of our children on the Internet,” according to the press release.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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