Sher­iff’s deputy charged with child pornog­ra­phy

Case turned over to fed­eral au­thor­i­ties

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By AN­DREW RICHARD­SON arichard­son@somd­news.com

Fed­eral au­thor­i­ties an- nounced Tues­day that a Charles County Sher­iff’s Of­fice deputy has been ar­rested and charged with pos­ses­sion of child por- nog­ra­phy.

Pfc. Alexan­der C. Sulli- van, 37, of King Ge­orge, Va., a 10-year vet­eran of the agency as­signed to the war­rants di­vi­sion, was ar­rested Mon­day night after in­ves­ti­ga­tors re­port­edly found more than 200 images and five videos on his phone, though the foren­sic in­ves­ti­ga­tion is con­tin­u­ing, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease from the U.S. At­tor­ney’s Of­fice in Green­belt.

Sher­iff Troy Berry (D) said his de­tec­tives took im­me­di­ate ac­tion after re­ceiv­ing tips from

the Na­tional Cen­ter for Miss­ing and Ex­ploited Chil­dren in­di­cat­ing Sulli- van’s tele­phone num­ber had al­legedly up­loaded sus­pected child pornog­ra­phy. De­tec­tives rec- og­nized Sul­li­van’s name as a fel­low of­fi­cer, and after con­fer­ring with the Charles County State’s At­tor­ney’s of­fice, the case was turned over to feder- al au­thor­i­ties.

The of­fi­cer, formerly of In­dian Head, has been sus­pended with­out pay pend­ing the out­come of a crim­i­nal trial, in ac­cor- dance with agency pol­icy.

“We will con­tinue to work with our law en- force­ment part­ners as the in­ves­ti­ga­tion moves for­ward,” Berry said.

Charles County State’s At­tor­ney An­thony Cov- in­g­ton (D) com­mended the sher­iff’s of­fice for its swift ac­tion.

“The sher­iff’s of­fice, as soon as they got this in­for­ma­tion, they acted im­me­di­ately,” he said. “They did a great job in- ves­ti­gat­ing, and they got it done quickly.”

“Un­for­tu­nately, they found the ev­i­dence that they found,” he added, “… but they didn’t hes- itate and that’s a good thing.”

Cov­ing­ton also said that he asked the fed­eral at­tor­neys to han­dle pros- ecu­tion due to their great- er abil­ity to stream­line a multi-ju­ris­dic­tional case. He also said that fed­eral law is ca­pa­ble of ren­der­ing a more ap­pro­pri­ate sen­tence for an of­fense of this na­ture, rather than cur­rent Mary­land law, which he be­lieves to be more le­nient.

On Nov. 17, a state search war­rant for Sul­li­van and his phone was ex­e­cuted in Charles County, and in­ves­ti­ga­tors re­port­edly found at least 200 images and five videos de­pict­ing child pornog­ra­phy.

On Mon­day night, Sul­li­van was ar­rested, and if con­victed, faces a max­i­mum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Sul­li­van ap­peared in U.S. Dis­trict Court in Green­belt on Tues­day af­ter­noon in front of U.S. Mag­is­trate Judge Wil­liam Con­nelly, and was re­leased to home de­ten­tion under the su­per­vi­sion of a third party cus­to­dian, his wife, and an elec­tronic mon­i­tor­ing de­vice to await trial, ac­cord­ing to a U.S. At­tor­ney’s Of­fice spokesper­son.

In a press re­lease, U.S. At­tor­ney Rod J. Rosen­stein com­mended Home­land Se­cu­rity In­ves­ti­ga­tions Bal­ti­more and the Charles County Sher­iff’s Of­fice for their work in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Rosen­stein thanked as­sis­tant U.S. at­tor­neys Joseph R. Bald­win and Kristi N. O’Malley who are prose­cut­ing the fed­eral case.

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