October 04, 2011 | 03:53 PMA state law enforcement agency raided a Walworth man's home Aug. 18 and allegedly found child pornography, but couldn't find the suspected owner for about three weeks.
Alex N. Pepper, 115 Weber St., faces a felony charge of possession of child pornography and, if convicted, faces up to 25 years imprisonment and $100,000 in fines.
Pepper is currently in custody in lieu of a $10,000 cash bond.
According to the criminal complaint:
On Aug. 18, at 7 a.m., two special agents with the State's Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigations met with the defendant's mother at her residence.
The DCI agents informed Pepper's mother they obtained information that her son's computer was used on a file-sharing website to obtain child pornography.
Pepper's mother said she knew her son had numerous computers and was using file-sharing software.
DCI agents obtained a search warrant for Pepper's bedroom and his computers.
DCI agents and the Walworth Police Department conducted a search of Pepper's bedroom and found multiple thumb drives in a plastic tote with the name "Alex" written on them.
Pepper wasn't present at the time of the search and after executing the search warrant, the special agent reported he was unable to locate Pepper.
The thumb drive was taken for a forensic review at the Department of Justice. A criminal analyst report indicated at least 25 images of prepubescent children engaged in sexually explicit conduct with adults were located on the device.
On Sept. 9, the Special Agent again spoke to the defendant's mother at her residence and she said she had not seen her son, but suspected he had been at her house eating when she was not there.
About an hour later, after the defendant's mother left for work, a special agent observed a vehicle registered to Pepper in the driveway.
The agent then located and arrested Pepper.
When being told he was being arrested for possession of child pornography, Pepper responded, "You found something on there."