Deal reached in pornography case

ELKINS — A Randolph County man accused of being found in possession of pornography depicting children entered into a plea agreement in Randolph County Circuit Court.

John Anthony Collins, 48, of Elkins, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of possession of material depicting a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, as part of the plea agreement. The prosecution dismissed 13 felony counts of the same charge.

Collins could be sentenced to not less than five years nor more than 15 years in the state penitentiary for each of the two counts. If ordered to run consecutively to one another, the total sentence would be not less than 10 nor more than 30 years in the state penitentiary. Collins remains incarcerated at Tygart Valley Regional Jail, and a sentencing hearing will be scheduled for a later date.

Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Parker represented the state, while Collins appeared with Brian Bailey as defense counsel. Circuit Judge David Wilmoth presided.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Randolph County Magistrate Court by Sgt. R.L. Talkington of the West Virginia State Police Morgantown detachment, a search warrant was served on Collins’ residence on Aug. 28, 2015.

At that time, electronic devices were seized from his bedroom. A digital forensic examination was completed on the devices, and images of child pornography were discovered, included images depicting a “pre-pubescent (sic) female who was naked and bound with black rope,” the complaint states.

Several of the images were identified by the Child Victim Identification Program of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children as containing a previously identified child victim, according to the complaint.