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Child porn cache one of largest ever seized in Anchorage

Jerzy Shedlock

Police investigators say a 30-year-old Anchorage man charged with distribution and possession of child pornography told them he'd been downloading and sharing the illicit materials since college.

The cache of illegal images and videos found on Gregory Russell Edwards' laptop is one of the largest seizures of child porn by the Anchorage Police Department to date, according to an affidavit filed May 9.

According to a Thursday statement from Anchorage police, investigators with the Alaska Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, working in an undercover capacity, reported receiving more than 30 video files from Edwards, depicting children as young as 3 years old.

Edwards has been charged with two counts of distribution and one count of possession of child porn. His bail was set at $20,000, and he's required to have a court-appointed third-party custodian if released.

The investigation began in mid-April, according to the affidavit. Police received videos over two days, then tracked the sender through an Internet account. The account happened to be under the name of Edwards' male roommate, but investigators determined computer activity occurred when the roommate was at work, the affidavit says.

On May 8, Anchorage police detectives went to Edwards' Bootlegger Cove residence with a search warrant. When they spoke with him, "Edwards immediately indicated that his life 'was over' and that the detectives would find the child pornography on a Sony laptop in his bedroom, which he did not use for any other purpose," the affidavit says.

The child porn suspect allegedly admitted he'd been "actively engaged in the possession and distribution of child pornography since college," adding that he had hundreds of videos, the charges say.

Edwards allegedly said "nothing happened to me as a kid" when the detectives asked if his interest in child porn was in any way attributable to childhood trauma of his own.

A search of the Sony laptop turned up at least 245 separate video files of children having sex and more than 25,000 images Edwards allegedly created himself from the videos. The videos and images amounted to 75 gigabytes' worth of data.

Police say the investigation is ongoing and "there may be additional victims of child sexual exploitation in the community." Anyone with information is encouraged to contact police at 786-8500.