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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 20, 2017

Greenville Man Pleads Guilty to Child Porn Charges

Contact Person: Lance Crick (864) 282-2100

Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Beth Drake stated today that Richard Wallace Heald, III, age 26, of Greenville, pled guilty Wednesday in federal court in Anderson, to possession of child pornography, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252A.  United States District Judge Timothy M. Cain of Anderson accepted the plea and will impose sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that child exploitation investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office downloaded, using a peer-to-peer filing sharing system, two child pornography videos from an IP address associated with the Defendant’s residence.

Based on this download, a search warrant was obtained and executed at the residence. A computer was seized from the Defendant’s room.  An analysis of the hard drive revealed a user name of “Ricky Heald.” The account appeared to be password protected, but agents were able to access the device.  Over 120 child pornography videos were found on the computer.

Ms. Drake stated the maximum penalty Heald can receive is a fine of $250,000 and/or imprisonment for 20 years, plus a special assessment of $100.

The case was investigated by agents of the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Investigations.  Assistant United States Attorney Bill Watkins of the Greenville office handled the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated January 20, 2017