NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WRIC) — The FBI has opened a federal investigation into a Newport News police officer, Sargent Michael Covey, who has been arrested for the sexual exploitation of children.
A federal affidavit says the Hocking County Sheriff’s Office in Ohio received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) on February 22, 2022. The social media platform, Kik, had filed a complaint with the NCMEC that seven pictures of pubescent girls “depicting child pornography were disseminated” by a man — later identified as a convicted sex offender — known only as R.G. in court documents.
The document states R.G. “made a couple of admissions” to the sheriff’s office after it requested a meeting with him the next day, and was arrested on February 23.
An investigation by the FBI Cincinnati found several photos and video files on R.G.’s electronic devices and — based on the media’s metadata — concluded the photos originated from an address in Newport News, according to the report.
The FBI Norfolk was contacted to help in identifying the child depicted in the images and videos. The affidavit said that according to the data on the media files, the videos were produced from an Apple iPhone between December 2021 and January 2022.
On June 7, 2022, the FBI emailed the Newport News Police Department School Resource Officer to ask if any school-aged children lived at the Newport News address where the photos were ascertained to have originated.
According to court documents, the photos show a pre-pubescent girl in bed asleep, in one of the photos, covers are pulled down, exposing her thighs. The documents continued, setting the scene of the video files as the same girl in bed asleep, while a male masturbates close to her.
On June 8, a member of the FBI found Michael Covey’s phone number to be associated with Telegram account user @Kglora — full name, K9 Zora — and Snapchat account user anobodyfZl — display name, A_Nobody_From_Nowhere, according to the report. After a review of R.G.’s devices, officials found a contact on R.G.’s phone: anybodyfnowhere. The court documents state there were no chats located on R.G’s device between the two.
A further review of R.G.’s device did not find any other identifiable information on how the images were received or where they originated from. Court documents did say that the child pornography material was found on the device in a folder labeled, “Fun.”
The affidavit ended by saying that probable cause exists to conclude Michael Covey violated Title 18 of the United States Code, 2251(a) in relation to the sexual exploitation of children.
On the afternoon of June 9, Newport News Police Department was informed of the FBI’s investigation. On the morning of June 10, federal agents took Covey into custody and charged him with one count of crimes against children.
Newport News Police Department reported that Covey had been placed on administrative leave with pay, pending the outcome of the federal investigation.
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