A former sergeant with the Newport News Police Department pleaded guilty this week to the sexual exploitation of children and receipt of child pornography.
According to court documents, Michael Nicholas Covey, 39, of Newport News, used a child to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purposes of producing a visual depiction of such conduct and distributing those images to a sex offender in Ohio.
When child sexual assault images were found on the convicted sex offenders’ electronic devices, the images were submitted to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria. During the analysis of the images, NCMEC determined that the images may have been produced in Newport News. NCMEC forwarded the information to the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force who, in turn, contacted the FBI.
Agents with the FBI were able to identify the child depicted in the images. Further investigation led the agents to Covey. He was arrested on a federal criminal complaint on Friday, June 10.
Covey pleaded guilty to two counts of the sexual exploitation of children and one count of receipt of child pornography and is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 22, 2023. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum penalty of 80 years in prison.
Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.