Jasper man charged again on child pornography

Posted 1/19/19

A Jasper man already in jail on child pornography charges has had additional charges placed against him, according to a press release issued Friday by Walker County Sheriff Nick Smith.Billy Joe …

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Jasper man charged again on child pornography

Posted

A Jasper man already in jail on child pornography charges has had additional charges placed against him, according to a press release issued Friday by Walker County Sheriff Nick Smith.

Billy Joe McDonald, 55, is currently in the Walker County Jail with a bond set at $250,000 cash. He is awaiting a bond hearing on 30 additional charges filed on Thursday related to the dissemination and possession of child pornography. He was originally arrested in June 2018, according to court records. 

According to the release, the Walker County Sheriff's Department's Computer Crime Unit was contacted in May 2018 by Agent Julie Fuller, an investigator with the State Bureau of Investigation.    

Yahoo, Inc., submitted a cybertip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children involving child pornography using a Flickr account. McDonald had uploaded 21 images of nude or partially nude children to Flickr, a social media network owned by Yahoo, that allows users to upload and share photos for others to see.  

A letter of preservation and subpoena were sent to Yahoo for information relating to the IP address from which the images had been uploaded.   

Subscriber information received from Charter Communications showed the IP address was owned and paid for by an individual residing outside of Walker County. The actual Internet address, however, was located inside Walker County. 

Based on this information, investigators obtained and executed a search warrant at the home of McDonald. Inside the home, several pieces of evidence were collected, including an iPad, cell phones, Xbox 360 hard drive, a PlayStation memory card and a Toshiba laptop. 

The Toshiba laptop had been destroyed, but the Computer Crimes Unit was able to remove the hard drive despite the damaged condition. Ten images of child pornography were found on the iPhone and iPad.

At that time, arrest warrants for McDonald were obtained and executed for dissemination of child pornography and possession of child pornography, and McDonald was placed in the Walker County Jail.

The damaged hard drive was sent to the United States Secret Service in Washington, D.C., so data could be removed from the data platter. Recently, the U.S. Secret Service was successful in recovering 30 images of child pornography along with nine images of CGI/Child Exploitative.

Smith thanked investigator Matt Owens with the department's Computer Crimes Unit, Sheriff’s Investigative division, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and the United States Secret Service for their contribution to put McDonald behind bars and ensure the safety of the county's children.