COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A tank crewman stationed on Fort Benning is caught in an undercover investigation by the GBI, accused of having hundreds of pornographic videos and pictures of children on his computers.
In February, the GBI was proactively running software to see if people around the state were downloading child pornography. Police say 33-year-old Staff Sergeant Leonard Talley's IP address came up on their radar and agents began using file sharing networks to download pornography from Talley's computer in peer-to-peer transfers.
The GBI, along with members of the Columbus Police Department and Secret Service, raided Talley's apartment at the Sugar Mill Luxury Apartments on Schomburg Road Wednesday morning.
He appeared in Columbus Recorder's Court Wednesday afternoon for a preliminary hearing and pleaded not guilty to the Sexual Exploitation of Children.
Detective Sandra Hickey with the Columbus Police Department's Sex Crimes Unit says undercover GBI agents download 925 files from Talley's computer during their investigation, of which 402 are suspected to be child pornography-both pictures and movies.
Hickey says three laptops, one desktop and two external hard drives were seized and she saw 10 pornographic pictures of young girls before the evidence was packed up. She says due to the volume of files on the electronic equipment, the items need to be further examined to determine just how much of it contains illegal material.
Talley wasn't home when the raid took place at his home but he was later arrested and questioned. Hickey says he confessed to Sex Crimes detectives that he has a great volume of porn on his computers, estimating 95% features adults and 5% showcases children.
Detectives say those numbers aren't matching up with what they're finding on his computers.
Judge Mary Buckner found probable cause in the case and bound it over to Muscogee County Superior Court. She set Talley's bond at $15,000.
With the Secret Service's involvement and because of the fact that he's military, police say it's possible Talley's case could go federal.
Police say Talley has no history of sex crimes.
Fort Benning Public Affairs Officials say the staff sergeant arrived at Fort Benning in September 2010 but has been in the Army since January 2002.