Army Chief Warrant Officer Charged with Sexual Exploitation of Children
GROVETOWN, GA – Richard Andrew Mitchell turned himself in to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Detention yesterday after a Special Agent with the GBI’s High Technology Investigations Unit (HTIU) obtained an arrest warrant charging Mitchell with one count of Sexual Exploitation of Children (OCGA 16-12-100). This arrest is the result of a joint investigation conducted by the GBI, the US Army CID at Ft. Eglin AFB in Florida and at Ft. Gordon in Grovetown, GA and the Fort Walton Beach Police Department on an individual using peer to peer (P2P) file sharing software to share child pornography via the internet.
Using subpoenas to obtain evidence from various Internet Service Providers, Mitchell, 47, a Chief Warrant Officer with the US Army, was identified as the suspect sharing the child pornography. On July 15, 2010, a search warrant was executed at Mitchell’s residence in Grovetown, GA and a laptop computer and external hard drive were seized. During the on-site forensic preview of Mitchell’s laptop computer, multiple movie files of suspected child pornography were found.
This investigation is part of the ongoing effort by the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, housed within the HTIU at GBI, to identify those involved in the child porn trade. The ICAC Program, created by the U. S. Department of Justice, was developed in response to the increasing number of children and teenagers using the Internet, the proliferation of child pornography, and the heightened online activity by predators searching for unsupervised contact with underage victims.
In 2008, the Georgia ICAC Task Force made 109 arrests and in 2009 made 164 arrests. So far this year, the ICAC Task Force has made 100 arrests during the first six months of this year.
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John Bankhead - 404-270-8330