Monday, March 14, 2016

Newport Men Charged With Having Child Porn Released On Bond

Troy Knox (left) and Michael Filacchione are two Newport men that were arrested last week and charged with possession child porn. Court records do not indicate that the men knew each other. 
Michael A. Filacchione, 31, and Troy Knox, 30, of Newport, were arrested on March 9 within two hours of each other and charged with possessing pornographic images of children. They were arrainged on March 10 in Campbell County District Court in Judge Gregory T. Popovich's courtroom.

RELATED: FTM: Two Campbell County Men Arrested 

Filacchione and Knox, who both asked for and were granted a public defender, were also granted a $1,000 cash or property bond by Judge Popovich. Previously, they had been housed at the Campbell County Detention Center and appeared in court via closed circuit television.

They since have both been released on their own recognizance.

In a courtroom video obtained by Fort Thomas Matters from the arraignment, Judge Popovich told prosecutors that he saw the two defendants as low and moderate risks, which was the reason for the $1,000 bond.

"I only set the bond at $1000 cash or property because the way I understand the facts, (Filacchione) wasn’t alleged to have been involved in anything, he was just looking at it on the computer," said Popovich.   Only a short time later, Popovich justifies the reasoning for the bond by reiterating that the alleged was, “…just merely looking at it.”

The same reasoning was given for setting Knox's bond at that amount.

Aside from the bond, the Judge also ordered that neither suspect be allowed the use of any device that was able to access the Internet.

Judge Gregory T. Popovich. Ballotpedia.com. 
Filacchione and Knox, whose residences are separated by 1.5 miles, were subjects of similar investigations but court documents make no mention of the two men knowing each other. The investigations were carried out by Tom Bell, an investigator with the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General in the Cyber Crimes Branch.
Filacchione and Knox lived 1.5 miles from each other on Park Ave. and New Linden Rd. in Newport. Court documents did not reveal whether or not the two knew each other. 

Bell, who has been with the Attorney General's Office for just under nine years, has extensive training in internet crimes, computer forensics and cyber crimes against children.

Search warrants were granted for both addresses after investigators attempted to obtain a list of files reported as being shared on a peer to peer network with an IP address originating in Kentucky. Investigators conducted a query on the IP address through the American Registry for Internet Numbers and found that it was registered to a local internet service provider address.

A list of those files, obtained by Fort Thomas Matters, list very graphic and disturbing file names that were allegedly downloaded by the defendants in the case. A list of those file names was available to Judge Popovich during the arraignment.

RELATED: New Concerns for District Court Judge Gregory T. Popovich 

On four different days during their investigation, Filacchione's IP address was sharing 93 investigative files of interest, of which prosecutors can pinpoint exact file names and cross reference them by a unique secure algorithm.

For Knox, investigators allegedly found a list of 59 files reported as being shared on the the peer to peer network they were monitoring over seven days.

While Knox and Filacchione were charged with two and four counts of possessing child pornography, respectively, the Cyber Crimes Unit of the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General will scour their devices seized during the search warrant and could be charged with more, which could morph into federal charges.

With both suspects living in a close proximity to one another, affidavits were both prepared on the same day, five days prior to when both search warrants were executed.

During the execution of the search warrant at Filacchione's residence, numerous images of minors engaged in sexual acts were found. At Knox's residence, which he shared with his mother, two videos of children engaged in sexual acts were found.

Investigators seized a desktop computer from Knox.

From Filacchione, investigators seized a desktop, four phones, four flash drives, a tablet and a DVD.

Previously Filacchione had no prior record to this incident. Knox has had multiple charges, ranging from Robbery to Criminal Trespassing and Alcoholic Intoxication.

Filacchione was employed as a computer technician. His Facebook profile indicates he was previously a photographer for an amusement park. Knox indicated he wasn't gainfully employed, citing sporadic work in construction.

Both suspects are next due in court for a pre-trial hearing on Thursday, March 17 at 1:00 p.m.

An anonymous source familiar with the situation has indicated to Fort Thomas Matters that they anticipate a much higher bond to be requested at the preliminary hearing by the Commonwealth that "is on par with the horrific nature of the alleged conduct by these defendants."

Calls to Judge Popovich have not been returned.

FTM will update this story.

2 comments:

  1. What is wrong with this Judge! If they did this once does he really think it will not happen again! This Judge has a screw loose!!

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  2. "Just merely looking at it." Yes, bc people who aren't pedophiles sometimes look at child porn....oookaayyyy....way to sympathize with the pedophiles, judge! I mean "judge"

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