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Unicoi man arrested on child porn charges

January 16th, 2007 10:30 pm by KRISTEN SWING



A Unicoi man was arrested Monday following a months-long investigation into a child pornography scheme that stretched across multiple jurisdictions.


An investigation into possible illegal activity began in August when Jonesborough police started receiving complaints of a man placing notes on a public bulletin board at a Jonesborough business.


The explicit notes encouraged people to visit a Web site showcasing girls between the ages of 10 and 16 posing nude in picture and video format. The notes claimed the site offered "the best eye candy you'll ever see."


"He started to put them up in various locations," said Jonesborough Department of Public Safety Maj. Matt Rice, who added that at least four businesses found similar notes on bulletin boards. "There was not a whole lot of leads to follow up on for a while. But we got a break a couple of weeks ago."


That's when the man reportedly left a note with an e-mail address for people to contact if they were interested in seeing some of his child porn photos.


"We were able to use undercover officers to talk with him on several occasions," Rice said. "We had meet locations where he would drop particular items for us. He delivered pornographic images of children under the age of 18."


After two weeks of "playing cat and mouse" with the suspect, who was "elusive" about his identity while communicating with the undercover officers, authorities were able to set up a face-to-face meeting with him. At that time, Jonesborough authorities arrested Woodrow D. MacGeorge, 43, 1019 Gouge Road, Unicoi, charging him with 15 counts of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor.


"There are at least 15 separate pornographic images of different girls. Those are the ones we got from him. That is what he left for us at the meet locations," Rice said, noting that some images also were left in businesses along with the notes. "At this time we have reason to believe most of these children are not from this area. But with this kind of crime, it's extremely hard to find out who the victims are."


The Erwin Police Department also charged MacGeorge in connection with similar incidents there.


In Erwin, MacGeorge is facing two counts of aggravated exploitation of a minor stemming from two explicit photos of girls, between the ages of 8 and 10, that were left in the men's bathroom of an area grocery store. The photos were a match to some of the ones discovered in Jonesborough, authorities said. Additionally, notes had been left in a couple of convenience stores in Erwin advertising child pornography Web sites.


Those notes also were connected back to MacGeorge, police said.


MacGeorge remained behind bars Tuesday night at the Washington County Detention Center on $150,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in sessions court to answer to the charges on Jan. 24. Should he post bond in the meantime, he would be taken to the Unicoi County Jail to be held on his charges there. His bond in Unicoi County has been set at $100,000.


Meanwhile, the investigation is continuing.


"Before it's over with, there's probably going to be more agencies filing charges against him as well," Rice said. "And it's not confined to Tennessee. Southwest Virginia is also involved in it."


More charges are pending against MacGeorge, and it is a "good possibility" that others will also face charges stemming from the investigation, Rice said.


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