DOCUMENT: Internet, Crime

4chan Linked To Federal Kiddie Porn Probe

NCIS: Sailor obtained illicit images from popular site

NOVEMBER 3--After borrowing a fellow Navy man’s iPhone last month in order to play video games while aboard the USS Boxer, a sailor browsed through a folder titled “porn” and discovered his friend was in possession of illicit images of children, a discovery that has triggered a federal child porn investigation, records show.

When questioned by a Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent, Collin Campbell admitted to “downloading between 10-20 images of child pornography” that he claimed to have found on 4chan.org, the notorious image and message board. Campbell, pictured at right, is a Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class aboard the Boxer, a Navy warship currently docked in San Diego, but due for deployment in early-2011.

According to a U.S. District Court filing excerpted here, Campbell and fellow sailor William Vest were “in the Machinery Room, Cargo Weapons Elevator” on the Boxer on October 6 when Campbell “allowed Vest to use his personal cellular telephone, an iPhone 3G, in order to play video games while Campbell was also present playing video games on his iPod Touch.”

Vest, a Machinist’s Mate Fireman, told NCIS investigators that, after about 20-30 minutes playing video games, he “began opening pictures contained within the cellular telephone.” While browsing through the “porn” folder, Vest opened 5-6 images showing “what he believes to be child pornography.” Vest provided a detailed description of the images to Gerald Martin, who is identified in court records as the NCIS “Special Agent Afloat aboard the USS Boxer.”

Vest said that he initially considered speaking with Campbell about the photos, but “he thought that if he did, Campbell may dispose of the evidence or would get Vest in trouble since Campbell is of higher rank than him,” according to the court filing.

On October 15, NCIS agents seized “several items of electronic media…from Campbell’s person and berthing area” on the USS Boxer. During an interview with investigators, Campbell reportedly copped to possessing child porn and “alleged he obtained all those images from the website www.4chan.org.” He added that the images were on his iPhone and a personal computer in his home in National City, a San Diego suburb.

Campbell, who was previously stationed on the carrier USS Kitty Hawk, did not respond to a Facebook message seeking comment about the ongoing NCIS probe. It is unclear whether Campbell is aware of Vest’s cooperation with investigators, since Vest’s name is still included among the 58 friends listed on Campbell’s Facebook page. (4 pages)

[11/5 UPDATE: In an e-mail today, Ed Buice, an NCIS public affairs officer, confirmed the agency’s probe of Campbell, but said that no charges have been filed against the sailor, who is not in custody.]   

Comments (10)

Navy men....always gettin in some sort of trouble....this time its porn....next might statutory rape.....>.<
Yeah, they allow child pornographers in the Navy, but not gays.... Way to draw the line!!!! I hope those pedo pics weren't girl-girl or boy-boy. THEN YOU'D GET IN REAL TROUBLE!!!
Yes Cindinator, you are correct. If this moron wasn't aware of Vest's cooperation with the investigation before, he sure as hell is now. How dumb do you have to be to lend electronics to friends that you KNOW contain illicit images? Mind-boggling, and gross.
Why would you join the Navy if you liked children? Apart from running away ???
They left a Message on Facebook?lmao. Oh, about the pics. . . Bad bad bad. He will be charged, no doubt
The way the rabble's freaking out, you'd think the sailor had shot the pictures himself, and not just downloaded them from the freaks at 4chan. This story pretty much encompasses what's wrong with US law and morality these days. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to look at MILF/granny pr0n...
I don't understand why no charges have been filed and why he's not in custody.
whoa...
Sought comment via facebook? Umm.. generally when someone is accused/proven to have damaging material on electronics like this, they then won't have access to said electronics. This guy likely doesn't have a computer to log into facebook with.
After reading this article, he may very well be aware of his friends participation in his bust.