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Press Release

Newport News Police Officer Arrested on Charges of Sexual Exploitation of a Child

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A federal grand jury returned an indictment today charging a sergeant with the Newport News Police Department with three counts of the sexual exploitation of a child.

According to allegations in the indictment, 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.

According to allegations in the criminal complaint filed last week, in a separate investigation, child sexual assault images were found on a convicted sex offenders’ 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 (SOVA ICAC) who, 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.

Covey is charged with the sexual exploitation of a child. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison and maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lisa McKeel and Peter G. Osyf are prosecuting the case.

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.

An indictment is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Updated June 17, 2022

Project Safe Childhood