Glenrock Man Admits Possessing Child Pornography
A man accused of possessing child pornography after a flash drive containing the illicit files was found in the Wyoming Medical Center parking garage entered a guilty plea Wednesday morning in Natrona County District Court.
James D. Simpson, Jr., 64, pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of child pornography as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.
In exchange for the guilty pleas, public defender Curtis Cheney told District Judge Daniel Forgey that the state would recommend that Simpson receive a suspended prison sentence of four to 10 years with five years of supervised probation.
Three additional counts of possession of child pornography which were initially filed against Simpson would also be dismissed per the agreement.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, a person called the police on March 5 and reported having found a USB drive that contained child pornography. The caller said he had been at Wyoming Medical Center three days earlier to visit a family member and, as he left the hospital, found the flash drive on the ground in the parking garage.
The caller picked up the USB drive, intending to get it back to its rightful owner. He forgot about it over the weekend and then plugged it into his computer on Monday to see if he could find anything that might help identify the owner.
Instead, he saw multiple files containing child pornography. He then called the authorities.
Special agents of the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation found that the USB drive contained 129 image files and five videos of suspected child pornography. At least 11 of the files depicted victims who had previously been identified through law enforcement investigations.
Agents were able to review files that had been deleted from the flash drive and found high school senior photographs, which contained embedded data. That data told agents the photos had been taken by a photographer in Converse County.
From there, agents searched social media and found a website for the photographer. On that website, they found an album which contained the same high school senior photos which had been recovered from the flash drive.
Agents interviewed the person who appeared in the senior photos and learned the likely suspect was Simpson. Simpson had been at Wyoming Medical Center with his wife on March 2.
Investigators confronted Simpson at his home, and he initially denied possessing the USB drive or any child pornography. Later, though, he admitted that the flash drive belonged to him.
"It's stuff that over years that I have collected because I thought they were cute and it's nothing that leaves the house, I am not a predator, I am never anywhere," Simpson told them. He said the flash drive was several years old.
Simpson said he never thought law enforcement would contact him regarding the files. He reportedly compared possessing child pornography to possessing a "dirty magazine."
He told agents that he would seek out children between 12 and 15 years of age.
Simpson remains free on bond pending sentencing.