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Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office discusses child pornography tracing

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TAZEWELL COUNTY, V.a. (WVVA) -- Travis Jackson and Christopher Everett of Tazewell county were reportedly found to be in possession of illegal media containing child pornography on March 9th.

Jackson was arrested on March 17th, Everett arrested on March 18th.

Lieutenant Michael Hall, the investigating officer from the Tazewell County Sheriff's Office says, "Some of the videos that I saw were the worst that I've seen."

Moderating mechanisms in social media providers flag the exploitative material, reporting it to cyber tip-lines like the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

"NC-MEC sent that to our regional task force, which is SOVA-ICAC, which is based out of Bedford County Office," said Hall. "They determined that the addresses resulted back to Tazewell county and they sent those cases to us for further investigation."

Dialing into larger data bases, the South West Internet Crimes Against Children task force fact checks for legitimate criminal content.

"We are able to submit what is called a shaw value, which is a digital finger print that accompanies that image," said Hall. "We're able to submit those numbers to various data bases and verify that it is a child pornography or exploitative images."

Beyond cyber tips, bit torrent investigations look into file sharing.

"We're able to capture the IP address, the internet protocol, which enables us to find the internet account holder and subscriber information," said Hall.

There are clandestine online sting operations to catch suspects in the act.

"We also do undercover chat, where we have the persona that we're a twelve or thirteen year old, and we go out and we chat and we wait for people to approach us," said Hall.

Experts say children may not fully grasp that once they send questionable media, it's nearly impossible to scrub it off the internet. Online predators take advantage of this.

"The predators that are out there, they are very savvy, they know how to contact kids, they know how to exploit them," said Hall.

Christina Kass

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