TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - U.S. Attorneys have charged 31 year old James Edward Haley Jr. of Terre Haute on two counts. They include possession of child pornography and distributing child pornography.
"This a sad day for the law enforcement community. It is a sad day for Terre Haute, but the important message that I hope this prosecution sends forth, is that no one is above the law," U.S. Attorney Joseph Hogsett said in a press conference Monday morning.
ONLINE VIDEO EXTRA: Watch the complete press conference.
A special task force from the Indiana State Police said they found 40,000 files of children being exploited on Haley's computer. They said they became aware of Haley's doings after an undercover investigation.
According to an affidavit, those files contained images of children nude in sexually suggestive poses and situations. That was just one folder. Other videos and images were described in the formal complaint. All of them were disturbing and far too graphic to share.
The affidavit also said that Haley admitted to downloading child pornography from the internet for the past six months. Officials believe he had been sharing that material with others.
It's a case that has Vigo County Sheriff Greg Ewing fuming.
"It made me sick, it really made me sick to think that somebody wearing this uniform was doing something like that behind their closed doors," Ewing said.
Ewing said he was aware of the incident on Friday and wanted to openly condemn his deputy at that time. However, because court documents had been sealed, he was legally advised to wait until Monday before releasing a statement. He said he was unaware of an investigation by Indiana State Police before Friday. However, once he found out he cooperated fully with officials.
ONLINE EXTRA: Full Interview with Sheriff Greg Ewing.
In the meantime, Haley is placed on administrative leave from the Vigo County Sheriff's Department. Pending that investigation, Haley could face termination. Ewing said this is common procedure.
Haley faces a maximum of 40 years in prison if found guilty. He would also have to permanently register as a sex offender.
His next scheduled court date is Thursday March 21.
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