Statement Regarding the Arrest of a Charles County Sheriff’s Officer-
La Plata, MD— The Charles County Sheriff’s Office is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security Investigations and United States federal prosecutors in reference to the arrest of Alexander C. Sullivan, 37, a Charles County Sheriff’s Officer who was charged on November 21 with possession of child pornography.
The arrest is the result of an investigation that was initiated by Charles County Sheriff’s detectives who were alerted by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Internet Crimes Against Children program regarding someone uploading child pornography to a cell phone number based in Charles County.
Investigators assigned to the CCSO Criminal Investigations Division recognized the name of the person affiliated with the phone number as a fellow officer. Sheriff Troy D. Berry said detectives launched a swift and immediate investigation which was subsequently turned over to federal authorities at the recommendation of the Charles County State’s Attorney’s Office. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners as the investigation moves forward,” said Sheriff Berry.
In accordance with agency policy, Sullivan, a 10-year-veteran, has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of a criminal trial. Homeland Security Investigations is continuing the investigation.
Greenbelt, MD— Charles County Sheriff’s Deputy Alexander C. Sullivan, age 37, of King George, Virginia, has been charged federally with possession of child pornography. The federal criminal complaint was filed on November 21, 2016 and Sullivan was arrested that evening. Sullivan is expected to have an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt at 3:00 p.m. today, before U.S. Magistrate Judge William Connelly.
The criminal complaint was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Andre R. Watson of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); and Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry.
According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received four tips from a company that provides cloud security concerning suspected child pornography being uploaded to a specific telephone number in October and November 2016. An officer from the Charles County Sheriff’s Department conducted a search on the telephone number and determined that it belonged to Alexander Sullivan of Indian Head, Maryland. The officer recognized Sullivan’s name and telephone number as belonging to a fellow officer. Sullivan had resided in Indian Head prior to recently relocating to Virginia.
A state search warrant for Sullivan and his telephone was executed in Charles County on November 17, 2016. A preview of the materials on the phone allegedly revealed more than 200 images and five videos containing child pornography. The forensic investigation is ongoing.
If convicted, Sullivan faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for possession of child pornography.
A criminal complaint is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by criminal complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the “resources” tab on the left of the page.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended HSI Baltimore, and the Charles County Sheriff’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph R. Baldwin and Kristi N. O’Malley, who are prosecuting the federal case.