Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Former St. Albans Auxiliary Police Officer Convicted of Child Pornography Crimes

Charleston, W.Va. - In a significant legal development, a federal jury has found Billy J. Griffith, 57, of St. Albans, guilty of receipt of child pornography and possession of prepubescent child pornography. The verdict came after a two-day trial conducted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of West Virginia.

The trial presented evidence that on August 24, 2022, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Griffith's Baier Street residence. The warrant was obtained after tracing an Internet Protocol (IP) address that had been linked to the downloading of multiple digital media files containing child pornography. Notably, Griffith served as an auxiliary officer with the St. Albans Police Department and worked as an exterminator, while his wife operated a child daycare at the same location.

During the search, officers seized several electronic devices, including an external hard drive, a desktop computer, a laptop computer, and a cell phone, all belonging to Griffith. He acknowledged that he had sole access to these devices through password protections. Forensic analysis conducted on the seized devices revealed over 3,000 images and video files of child pornography.

Griffith is scheduled to be sentenced on September 7, 2023. He could face a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison, along with five years to a lifetime of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. Additionally, Griffith will be required to register as a sex offender.

The prosecution of this case is led by United States Attorney Will Thompson and Assistant United States Attorney Julie M. White.

Expressing appreciation for the efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other law enforcement partners, U.S. Attorney Thompson emphasized the significance of prioritizing cases involving child exploitation. He stated, "My involvement in this trial should show the high priority the office places on cases involving children."

The jury trial was presided over by United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin.

This prosecution is part of Project Safe Childhood, an initiative led by the Department of Justice to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse on a nationwide scale. The project utilizes federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals involved in the sexual exploitation of children and to rescue victims

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