BY SARAH GREGORY
A former Greeneville Police Department (GPD) auxiliary officer will appear in U.S. District Court here Wednesday in connection with charges related to his alleged receipt and possession of child pornography.
Herbert Eugene Miller, of Chuckey, a 12-year, part-time, paid auxiliary officer, will appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dennis Inman at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in a detention hearing at the James H. Quillen U.S. Courthouse.
He was arrested Thursday by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and remains in U.S. custody.
The complaint filed at the federal courthouse alleges two counts against Miller:
* receipt of child pornography; and,
* possession of child pornography.
The complaint alleges that "on or about" July 27 and 28, 2013, Miller "did knowingly receive child pornography ... that had been shipped and transported in interstate commerce, by computer" and "did knowingly possess child pornography."
Miller was employed by the police department from June 1, 2000 until Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, according to Town of Greeneville Public Relations Specialist Amy Rose.
Miller served as an auxiliary officer for that entire period. He never served as a School Resource Officer, Rose confirmed.
In addition to serving as a part-time, auxiliary police officer, Miller also served as a member of the all-volunteer Greeneville Emergency & Rescue Squad for a number of years, before leaving the squad in 2011.
He is a 1987 graduate of Chuckey-Doak High School.
IN FEDERAL CUSTODY
Assistant U.S. Attorney Helen C.T. Smith, who is prosecuting the case, confirmed Friday afternoon that Miller remains in federal custody.
Smith said he is being held in a facility outside Greene County pending the detention hearing.
He made an initial appearance before Judge Inman on Thursday afternoon. At that time, Federal Defender Services of East Tennessee, Inc. was appointed to serve as his defense counsel.
He was then returned to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
WEB SEARCHES DISCOVERED
Details of an investigation outlined in the complaint say that on Aug. 4, a patrol officer alerted a shift supervisor about a number of search history entries in the web browser on the computer in GPD patrol car G-7.
Those entries, the complaint stated, indicated "child pornography web searches."
The computer's hard drive was removed by the Greeneville System Administrator for a forensic review, and a number of key words used in online image searches were recovered including "fifth grade girls," "naked middle school girls," and "hot high school girls naked."
The forensic review also recovered "thousands of pornographic images" that included "more than 80 images of child pornography," according to the complaint.
Descriptions of some of the child pornography images recovered were included in graphic detail in the complaint. All of the descriptions refer to "prepubescent" females.
The complaint explains that forensic analysis established that the searches were made in Miller's patrol car at a time when he was on duty.
"According to Greeneville Police Department shift schedule," the complaint states, "Auxiliary Police Officer Herbert Eugene Miller worked July 27, 7:00 p.m., to July 28, 2:00 a.m., and was driving patrol car 7.
"Corroborating evidence that links Auxiliary Officer Miller to be the person who searched for child pornography is supported by Greeneville Police Department's incoming calls-for-service log."
A short statement released Friday by the Town of Greeneville says that an internal investigation was undertaken immediately when the pornography-related searches were discovered on the computer in the patrol car.
The statement reads, in full:
"On Sunday night, Aug. 4, a GPD officer discovered suspicious material on a laptop computer in a police vehicle. The officer immediately notified a supervisor, who immediately notified Assistant Chief Craig Fillers.
"When it was determined that potential illegal activity had occurred, an immediate internal investigation began.
"Following the internal investigation, GPD immediately contacted the FBI, who also is conducting an investigation.
"The officer who is the subject of the investigation is no longer employed with the Town of Greeneville."
Rose confirmed that FBI agents escorted Miller in handcuffs from Greeneville Police Chief Terry Cannon's office on Thursday.
GPD equipment used by Miller was recovered by Asst. Chief Fillers.