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Southwest Va. man faces 60 years for child porn

January 29th, 2014 1:58 pm by Wes Bunch

Southwest Va. man faces 60 years for child porn

Gary Joshua Garrison

JONESVILLE — A Southwest Virginia man faces over 60 years in prison after pleading guilty in Lee County Circuit Court to more than a dozen child pornography-related charges.

Gary Joshua Garrison, 26, Pennington Gap, entered guilty pleas during his court appearance Jan. 23 to 11 counts of possession of child pornography and two counts of reproduction of child pornography.
 
Garrison’s pleas came days after Lee County Circuit Court Judge Tammy McElyea denied a motion by the defense to have the case dismissed. Garrison was scheduled to stand trial before a Lee County jury this week.
 
Garrison is scheduled to be sentenced on March 4. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison on each of the 13 charges.
 
Lee County Commonwealth’s Attorney Shawn Hines said his office was prepared to proceed to trial with the case.
 
“These are very, very tough cases,” Hines said. “These cases are mentally challenging due to the subject matter and you dread going into a trial having to play these videos, because they are very disturbing. But if we had gone to trial, we would have done that and left the decision to the jury.”
 
Hines said the conviction — the second for child porn related offenses since Dec. 13 — demonstrated the effectiveness of the Southwest Virginia Crimes Against Children Task Force’s methods.
 
“Defendants in these cases don’t expect that there are members of law enforcement actively monitoring their computes,” Hines said. “One of the messages we want to send to anyone messing with this stuff is that we have investigators looking into it and once you’re caught it’s not going to end well for you when you’re sentenced in court.”
 
Authorities began investigating Garrison in Feb. 2013 after a detective with the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office and Crimes Against Children Task Force observed child pornography being downloaded to a computer in Lee County with peer-to-peer file sharing software.
 
That prompted authorities to file an administrative subpoena with Comcast to obtain more information about the IP address that downloaded the child pornography, Hines said.
 
Authorities then used that information to trace the IP address to Garrison’s physical address in Pennington Gap. Virginia State Police special agents obtained a search warrant for the residence on April 15, 2013.
 
While executing the search warrant, special agents reportedly confiscated Garrison’s personal computer. A forensic analysis of the computer’s hard drive turned up numerous pictures and videos of young boys and girls as young as infants and as old as pre-teens engaging in sexual acts.
 
Hines said Garrison confessed to owning the child pornography during an interview with VSP special agent Jason Jenkins.

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