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Press Release

Pair Plead Guilty To Child Pornography Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Georgia

Michael J. Moore, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announced that James Grimes, aged 29, of Columbus, Georgia, entered a guilty plea to one count of possession of child pornography on December 17, 2014, before the Honorable Clay D. Land, Chief U.S. District Court Judge, in Columbus, Georgia. 

As part of an ongoing investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, a search warrant was executed at Mr. Grimes’ home on April 30, 2012.  During a voluntary, consensual conversation with agents, Mr. Grimes admitted to owning multiple computers and having “illegal stuff” on some of them.  He further admitted to accessing wireless modems around his neighborhood, downloading child pornography, and forwarding it to others.  At the time of the interview, Mr. Grimes was in possession of more than 600 pornographic images.

Mr. Grimes faces a maximum possible sentence of twenty (20) years imprisonment, a maximum fine of $250,000, or both.  He will also be required to register as a sex offender.  He will be sentenced in about 60 days.

In a separate case, Kenneth Nichelson, aged 56, of Cataula, Georgia, entered a plea of guilty on December 17, 2014 before Judge Land to receipt of child pornography.  In entering his plea of guilty, Mr. Nichelson admitted that between June 2010 and March 2011, he purchased nine DVDs depicting child pornography from a company in Toronto, Canada.  When arrested on July 8, 2014, Mr. Nichelson was in possession of more than 10, but fewer than 150 images of child pornography on a computer in his home.

A criminal history check on Mr Nichelson revealed that he had a previous conviction of sexual abuse in the 2nd degree in 1994 in New York.  Due to his previous conviction, he faces a sentence of a mandatory minimum 15 years up to 40 years.  Sentencing for both Mr. Grimes and Mr. Nichelson will be in about 60 days.

“The tragedy of child pornography cases is that the children are re-victimized every time their photos are viewed by criminals like Mr. Grimes and Mr. Nichelson.  That is why these cases are so important and why we’ll keep using every resource to protect our children,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Moore.     

Assistant United States Attorney Crawford Seals is prosecuting the case for the Government.  Questions concerning this case should be directed to Pamela Lightsey, Public Information Officer, United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603.

Updated February 19, 2015