Marine jailed on child porn charges

Craig Walker

A Grand Junction-area recruiter for the U.S. Marine Corps was arrested Monday on allegations he downloaded hundreds of files of child pornography on a home computer.

Craig Thomas Walker, 25, surrendered at the Mesa County Jail on a Grand Junction police warrant alleging five counts of sexual exploitation of a child. Walker already has been formally charged in the case.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, an IP address that was eventually linked to Walker’s laptop computer was determined to have downloaded 267 files of child pornography.

The reported discovery was made by a Grand Junction police detective, working with an agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, on Feb. 18 as the officers were using technology to monitor “individuals in the Grand Junction area who were viewing and downloading child pornography,” the affidavit reads.

The officers were using Limewire, computer software that allows law enforcement to compile and log addresses in real time, according to the affidavit.

“Investigators are able to see the IP address of any computer system sharing files,” the affidavit reads. “Investigators can then search public records that are available on the Internet to determine the Internet service provider who has assigned that address.”

From there, investigators can pursue a court order to learn the identity of the person using that address.

The affidavit specifies 14 files on Walker’s laptop, all movies up to 5 minutes long, allegedly showing preteen girls in sexual acts with adult men. In a reference to four of the files, the affidavit says: “These children have been identified. The police reports from Kentucky are available upon request.”

Ed Nugent, Walker’s attorney, told a judge Tuesday that Walker cooperated with investigators after they showed up at his home March 4 with a warrant to seize his laptop. Walker has served active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps for eight years and is a combat veteran, and he’s worked the past three years as a local recruiter, Nugent told the judge. A homeowner with negligible criminal history, Walker’s family resides in Nebraska, the attorney said.

“This is an Internet offense,” Nugent told County Court Judge Gretchen Larson, while arguing for a lenient bond. “It’s not like when we have a person in the community who has claimed specific harm.”

District Attorney Pete Hautzinger disagreed, arguing it’s “persons like Mr. Walker who are creating a market for child pornography.”

Walker was ordered jailed on $60,000 bond and is expected to return to court June 3.


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