You are here

Former Department of Transportation Engineer Sentenced to Thirty Years in Prison on Child Pornography Charges

PRESS ADVISORY

Former Department of Transportation Engineer Sentenced to Thirty Years in Prison on Child Pornography Charges

March 3, 2008

Ricky Labrew, a resident of Ridge Spring, South Carolina, entered a plea before Judge Duncan Wheale in Richmond County Superior Court on Friday, February 29, to fifty-six counts of Sexual Exploitation of Children.   The charges brought by Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker against Labrew resulted in a thirty year prison term following his felony sentencing.

Attorney General Baker applauded the Richmond County court for its tough sentence.  “Today, we send a message to those who would victimize our children, that we in Georgia will not allow this type of conduct to exist in a civilized society,” Baker said.  He continued that the thirty year sentence “would serve as a harsh and effective deterrent against those depraved individuals who get their enjoyment from the exploitation of young children.”

The investigation was initiated when the internet company Yahoo reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that images of child pornography were being uploaded to various Yahoo internet groups.  The internet address from which the images were uploaded was subsequently identified as one registered to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Bobby Stanley, an investigator with the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit of the GBI, led the state’s investigation and was able to determine that Georgia Department of Transportation employee Ricky Labrew had logged on to the DOT computer server, and then used his personal America Online account and Yahoo email address to upload images of child pornography to the internet.   Labrew was employed with Georgia DOT as an engineer for nine years, managing various road construction projects.

Labrew, confronted with the evidence by state investigators, eventually admitted that he had uploaded child pornography. Three Department of Transportation computers used by Labrew were seized. A forensic analysis of the computers revealed thousands of images of child pornography. Each image had been downloaded and organized into a named folder on the hard drive of Labrew’s computer. Labrew was immediately fired by DOT.

The images, consisting of film clips and still photographs, were extremely graphic, some showing actual acts of molestation being perpetrated against the minor victims.   The images which formed the basis of the indictment were found to contain pictures of child victims from seven states and six different foreign counties; the identification of those victims was made by the NationalCenter for Missing and Exploited Children after comparison of Labrew’s images with the image database maintained by NCMEC.

At sentencing, Judge Wheale imposed a sentence of 30 years incarceration, and imposed all special conditions requested by the State as conditions of parole.   Those conditions include that the Defendant must register as a sex offender, that the Defendant is prohibited from using the internet, and that the Defendant is prohibited from having any contact with minor children.

The case was investigated by GBI Special Agent Bobby Stanley and DOT Investigator Kenny Whitworth.  Prosecution of the case was handled by Senior Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Schwartz and Assistant Attorney General Daniel Hiatt.