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Justice News

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

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Raven, Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography, Gun Charges

Tony Michael Spencer Admits to Viewing Child Pornography, Possessing a Sawed-off Shotgun

ABINGDON, VIRGINIA – A Virginia man, who admitted to viewing depictions of child pornography and to possessing an illegal firearm, pled guilty to related charges in Federal Court, United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. announced today.

Tony Michael Spencer, 42, of Raven, Virginia, pled guilty today to one count of receiving a depiction of a minor engaged in sexual explicit conduct and one count of possessing a short barreled shotgun.

“Protecting our children from predators who wish to exploit them is the most important thing we in law enforcement can do,” United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. said today. “Technology is evolving at speeds that are difficult to keep up with, but we must be vigilant in talking to our children and keeping them safe online and knowing who they are spending their time with, both online and in person.”

“Children should be cared for and nurtured, not victimized and exploited.  The FBI will continue to use investigative resources available to them to identify and hold accountable those who prey on these innocent victims,” said Adam S. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division.

According to evidence presented at the guilty plea hearing by Assistant United States Attorney Zachary T. Lee, after obtaining information that Spencer was part of a group of individuals utilizing a website on the internet to distribute child pornography, the Federal Bureau of Investigation executed a search warrant on Spencer’s residence on August 6, 2015.  At the time of the search warrant, Spencer admitted to viewing child pornography on the website and FBI agents also located an unregistered sawed-off shotgun in the residence.

To date, the FBI’s examination of Spencer’s computers seized at the time of the search has located more than 300,000 images of child pornography.

The investigation of the case was conducted by Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Zachary T. Lee prosecuted the case for the United States.

Project Safe Childhood
Updated May 31, 2016