ALBANY, Ga. — Standing before a U.S. Magistrate Tuesday, Thomas W. Faircloth officially entered "not guilty" pleas to charges that he possessed and distributed child pornography via a file-sharing website.
Faircloth, whose last address was in Cairo, stands indicted by a federal grand jury on two counts, one for distribution of child pornography and one for possession of child pornography.
According to an unsealed affidavit written by FBI Special Agent Steve McDermond, an undercover federal law enforcement officer working in New Haven, Conn., logged onto a publicly available file sharing program on Nov. 13, 2012 and downloaded 22 image files and 17 video files from a person logged on as "Ss4goku39819."
The person from whom the material was downloaded was tracked using an Internet protocol number to a home in Bainbridge. The phone account for the Bainbridge address, according to the affidavit, had listed as the primary email address "firstname.lastname@example.org" which, McDermond writes, is the primary email address for Faircloth.
On Feb. 11, federal agents served a search warrant on the home and found only Faircloth's father, who said about three weeks earlier Faircloth had begun talking about ways to kill someone without getting caught, which led the father to evict him from the premises.
A second search warrant was then served at a home on the 400 block of Airport Road in Cairo, where the affidavit says officials found Faircloth.
"When Faircloth exited the residence, he told another occupant that he should have 'burned those CDs,'" the affidavit states. "Faircloth told SA McDermond that in his room inside the residence, SA McDermond would find child pornography."
Federal agents seized from Faircloth's home material and equipment including two laptop computers, three hard drives and a large quantity of CDs, the affidavit states.
During an interview with federal agents at the Grady County Sheriff's Office on Feb. 11, McDermond wrote that Faircloth was read his rights and signed a form waiving those rights for the interview. Faircloth then admitted to investigators that he had downloaded child pornography and burned the videos and photos onto CDs. He told investigators he had been viewing child pornography for about four years and that his username on the file sharing program was "Ss4goku39819."
During the interview, McDermond wrote, Faircloth, who told investigators he had a temper problem, threatened to strike a federal agent.
On Feb. 13, investigators viewed the evidence collected from Faircloth's home and found that the CDs contained still images and videos of what McDermond described in the affidavit as "small children (prepubescent) being raped and sodomized."
On Feb. 15, Faircloth's sister told federal agents that he was waiting for his tax refund to come in so that he could leave town.