Former Newport News Police Officer Sentenced for Sexual Exploitation of a Child
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A sixteen-plus year veteran of, and former sergeant with, the Newport News Police Department was sentenced today to 25 years in prison for the sexual exploitation of children and receipt of child pornography.
According to court documents, Michael Nicholas Covey, 39, of Newport News, used a child to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purposes of producing a visual depiction of such conduct. In a separate investigation, child sexual assault images were found on a convicted sex offender’s electronic devices in Cincinnati, Ohio. Those images were submitted to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in Alexandria. During the analysis of the images, NCMEC determined that the images may have been produced in Newport News. NCMEC forwarded the information to the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which, in turn, contacted the FBI. Agents with the FBI were able to identify the child depicted in the images. Further investigation led the agents to the defendant, Michael Nicholas Covey. He was arrested on a federal criminal complaint on Friday, June 10.
According to court documents, Covey was originally indicted in June 2022 on three counts of sexual exploitation of a child. Law enforcement later discovered an additional cellular phone belonging to Covey that he had concealed in a container in the back of his patrol vehicle. New evidence on this phone led to additional charges of sexual exploitation of a second minor victim, as well as receipt and possession of child pornography counts in a superseding indictment filed in July 2022. Covey also received a sentencing enhancement for obstructing justice. Covey pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual exploitation of a child and one count of receipt of child pornography last September.
Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Brian Dugan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by Chief U.S. District Judge Mark S. Davis.
Newport News Police Department provided significant assistance in this case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lisa McKeel and Peter G. Osyf prosecuted the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:22-cr-48.
Updated February 22, 2023
Project Safe Childhood