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August 17, 2023Charleston, WV, United StatesChild Exploitation

HSI Charleston investigation lands West Virginia man 30 years in prison for producing child sexual abuse material

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — An investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Charleston, the West Virginia State Police and the St. Albans Police Department landed a West Virginia man in prison for 30 years, followed by a lifetime of supervised release, for producing child sexual abuse material. Billy Eggleston, 50, of St. Albans, received the sentence Aug. 15 at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia in Charleston. Eggleston must also register as a sex offender.

“Through his vile actions, Mr. Eggleston has proven to be a threat to the law-abiding residents of his community,” said HSI Washington, D.C. Special Agent in Charge Derek W. Gordon. “The severity of his sentence displays the degree of danger that he presented. We cannot tolerate such a menace to prey upon the good people of our West Virginia neighborhoods. HSI Washington, D.C., along with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, will continue to detect, disrupt and apprehend anyone who means to cause harm to the people that we have sworn to protect.”

According to the investigation, Eggleston engaged in sexually explicit conduct with a female minor in March 2020 for the purpose of photographing such conduct.

Eggleston admitted to using his cell phone to take a series of 62 photos of him engaged in sexually explicit conduct with the prepubescent female while she was sleeping. He took the sexually explicit photos in his bedroom, then transferred the images to his desktop computer.

“To prey upon this child, Billy Eggleston gained the trust of her and her family and then betrayed that trust in a most abhorrent manner to fulfill his depraved fantasies,” U.S. Attorney Will Thompson said. “I commend the investigative work of the United States Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, the West Virginia State Police and the St. Albans Police Department, and the assistance provided by the Charleston Area Medical Center Children’s Advocacy Center.”

Eggleston admitted to possessing nearly 5,000 videos and images of child sexual abuse material on his desktop computer and a memory card in October 2022.

He also admitted that one of the images was of an adult man sexually assaulting a girl between four and seven years old, and another image was of a girl between two and four years old subjected to sexually explicit conduct by an adult man.

The Charleston Area Medical Center Children’s Advocacy Center and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia provided significant assistance with the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

Learn more about HSI Washington, D.C.’s mission to increase public safety in your community on X, formerly known as Twitter, @HSI_DC