Attorney General Lynn Fitch announced sentencing in three cases prosecuted by the Cyber Crime and Public Integrity Divisions.
The Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Division represented the State in two of the cases. In Bay St. Louis, Colby Isaiah Johnson, 23, entered an open plea to one count of Child Exploitation related to the transmission and possession of child pornography uncovered during Operation Trick or Treat in October 2018. He was sentenced to 15 years, with 10 years suspended and five to serve, by Hancock County Circuit Court Judge Christopher L. Schmidt.
In Rankin County, Nathaniel Eric Pollard, 39, pleaded guilty to one count of child exploitation related to child sexual abuse images uploaded to a social networking site and the possession of child pornography on a cellular device. He was sentenced to 20 years, with 13 years suspended and seven to serve by Rankin County Circuit Judge John Emfinger. He also must pay a $1,000 assessment to the Mississippi Children’s Trust Fund, $1,000 to the Mississippi Crime Victims Compensation Fund, over $2,000 in court costs, and register as a sex offender.
The Public Integrity Division represented the State in the case against Joseph Edney, a former investigator in the district attorney’s office for the 11th Circuit Court District. The State Auditor’s office found he embezzled $3,539 by depositing public money meant to pay court fees into his own personal bank account. He also concealed $2,298.86 in undeposited money orders. With fees and interest, he had to pay back $14,180. Edney was sentenced by Bolivar County Circuit Court Judge Charles Webster to seven years suspended, with three years of supervised probation and four years of unsupervised probation. He was fined $1,000, must pay court costs, and pay $500 as a credit to the Crime Victims Compensation Fund.
“My office won’t stand for those who take advantage of our children or those who abuse the powers of public office,” General Fitch said. “I am grateful for the dedicated work of this talented team of attorneys. My office will continue to pursue those who break the law.”
Cyber Crime Special Assistant Attorney General Brandon Ogburn prosecuted the case against Johnson. Cyber Crime Director Kimberly Purdie and SAAG Ogburn prosecuted the case against Pollard.
Special Assistant Attorney General Brad Oberhousen prosecuted for the State against Edney.