|On July 12, 2016, the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit of the Kingsport Police Department Criminal Investigations Division received a referral from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). NCMEC had identified 11 sexually explicit images of multiple children between 4 and 10 years of age that had been uploaded from a single source to an online chat room known as ChatStep.
Through further investigation, Detectives tracked the source of these images to a Kingsport home where the resident consented to a search. A computer hard drive and flash drive were found in the home and submitted for forensic examination, resulting in a total of 45 images of child pornography being recovered. These 45 images included some of the images from the original NCMEC referral.
As the investigation progressed, Detectives learned that the images had been uploaded and downloaded by Kevin L. Jones of Gate City, VA. Mr. Jones is a relative of the occupant of the Kingsport residence where the images were found. He had uploaded and downloaded the child pornography on weekends while visiting his Kingsport relative without his relative’s knowledge.
During an interview with Detectives, Mr. Jones acknowledged having a personal flash drive collection at his home containing over 5,000 images of child pornography. He told Detectives that he downloaded these images at his relative’s Kingsport address, because he did not have internet access at his home in Gate City. These additional images have since been recovered and are in the process of computerized forensic analysis.
On August 24, 2016 Mr. Jones was arrested for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor (as a result of his possession of child pornography) and Aggravated Sexual Exploitation of a Minor (as a result of his transporting child pornography across state lines) and confined in the Kingsport City Jail. During his arraignment the following morning, his bond was set at $30,000 by the presiding judge. Mr. Jones currently remains incarcerated, awaiting transfer to the Sullivan County Jail in Blountville.