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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Vinton Man Sentenced On Child Porn Charge

George Burkey To Serve 85 Months In Prison

ROANOKE, VIRGINIA -- A Vinton, Va. man, who pled guilty to distributing child pornography via a peer-to-peer software sharing website, was sentenced today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Roanoke.

George Andrew Burkey, 34, previously waived his right to be indicted and pled guilty to a one count Information charging him with receiving and distributing chid pornography. Today in District Court he was sentenced to 85 months of Federal incarceration and a lifetime of supervised release thereafter.

“The exchange of child pornography via peer-to-peer web networks is a persistent problem in our district and around the country,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “The predators who lurk in these networks should be aware that they are being watched. As this case shows, law enforcement has infiltrated the seedy world of peer-to-peer exchanges of child pornography. We will continue to do all we can to investigate and prosecute individuals who transfer this filth and protect the victims of this disgusting business.”

“This case demonstrates the resolve of Homeland Security Investigations to bring to justice those who possess images of innocent children being sexually exploited and traumatized,” said John P. Torres, special agent in charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Washington, D.C. “Working with our state, local and federal law enforcement partners, we will continue to utilize our resources to protect our nation’s most vulnerable asset, our children.”

This case arose after officers with the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force became aware that a computer with an IP address in Vinton was offering to share computer files containing images and videos depicting children engaged in sexually explicit behavior. Subsequently, a search warrant was obtained and executed at the defendant’s home and a computer was seized from his bedroom. The defendant admitted to owning and using the computer.

A forensic examination of the computer revealed hundreds of images and videos depicting children engaged in sexually explicit behavior. It was determined that the defendant downloaded many of these images and videos from the peer-to-peer software sharing website, Limewire. On August 27, 2010 Burkey pled guilty and admitted to downloading and sharing the files with others on the internet.

The investigation of the case was conducted by ICE HSI in Harrisonburg, the Vinton Police Department and the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney Charlene Day is prosecuting the case for the United States.

Updated April 10, 2015