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Former Intelligence Analyst to Serve 30 Years in Prison

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A former military intelligence analyst from Gordonsville will spend 30 years in prison for distributing child porn.

A Louisa County court convicted Joseph Bell on seven counts of distribution of child pornography.  The commonwealth's attorney says the FBI started investigating Bell in the winter of 2011, when he moved into a home in Louisa County with a family with three young kids.

An internet crimes against children task force found more than 400 images and videos of suspected child porn.  One of the children also accused Bell of inappropriate touching.


Louisa County Commonwealth's Attorney
Press Release

Today, Louisa Commonwealth's Attorney Rusty McGuire announced the conviction of Joseph L. Bell, of Gordonsville, VA, on 7 counts of distribution of child pornography.  Bell previously served as an intelligence analyst in the military and as a government contractor with a top secret security clearance.

In the winter of 2011, the FBI investigated Bell for distribution of child pornography.  They were about to execute a search warrant on his residence when he moved to Louisa.  He moved into a residence with a family that included three young children.  As soon as he moved to Louisa he continued to distribute child pornography and was identified by the CSI Louisa (Child Safety Initiative) team.  Detective Patrick Siewert of the Louisa County Sheriff's office and a member of the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force contacted the FBI and they agreed to execute a joint search warrant on January 5, 2012.

During the execution of the search warrant the officers identified over 400 images/videos of suspected child pornography.  When Mr. Bell was taken out of the house one of the young children disclosed inappropriate touching by Mr. Bell.  It is always difficult to pursue cases with young victims but after reviewing the case with the other agencies they decided to prosecute Bell for the internet crimes.  The goal was to obtain and significant sentence without the need for the child to testify.  

On speaking on the conviction McGuire said "too often I hear people saying internet crimes against children do not involve real children.  Not only are the children in the images being sexually abused but this case confirms the Butner study which shows that almost 85% of internet crimes against children offenders are "dual contact offenders."  The ICAC officers found hundreds of images of young boys and girls on Bell's computer and he gained access to young children.  He inappropriately touched one of them but he won't touch another child again."  

Law enforcement across the country has access to the same technology used by the FBI and CSI Louisa which allows them to identify those trafficking in Child Pornography.  85% of the internet offenders are dual offenders so there are literally thousands of children waiting to be rescued across this nation.  Protecting children needs to be a budgetary priority at every level of government.  This year, the White House asked Congress to cut The Protect our Children Act by 27%. Congress proposed spending at below 2010 levels.  McGuire said "this case demonstrates the success in protecting children when you commit the resources the way the County of Louisa has done."  

This case was the result of the partnership with the Louisa County Sheriff's Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Richmond Police Department, Office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia and the Office of the Louisa Commonwealth's Attorney.

In addition to serving the next 30 years in prison Bell must pay mandatory restitution in the amount of $18,000. 

Russell "Rusty" McGuire
Commonwealth's Attorney
County of Louisa