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How do task forces investigate people accused of child pornography?

So how are kids getting onto the dark web? Secret apps, also known as “vault” apps which many parents mistake for something else entirely. (Source: Colin/Wikimedia Commons/MGN)
So how are kids getting onto the dark web? Secret apps, also known as “vault” apps which many parents mistake for something else entirely. (Source: Colin/Wikimedia Commons/MGN)
Published: Dec. 10, 2019 at 5:24 PM EST
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Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019

News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

GROVETOWN, GA (WRDW/WAGT) – A criminal complaint lodged against a Fort Gordon Army major is too graphic to share, but we are talking to the local GBI task force about taking down accused criminals like him.

Maj. Jason Michael Musgrove, 39, charged Monday in a federal complaint. He was caught sharing the child porn on an app our I-Team has warned you about before.

Investigators say Musgrove was using the app Kik when the criminal complaint says he was caught distributing child pornography by an FBI agent.

It's part of a state and federal effort to monitor illegal group chats looking for criminal behavior. This one in particular was "dedicated to the sharing of child pornography.”

Special Agent Charles Kicklighter is part of the task force with the GBI. Agents go on apps, create fake profiles, and join groups.

"It allows people with certain interests or deviances to go in and create a group or join groups of like-minded people,” Kicklighter said.

The affidavit says Musgrove sent three nude images of the victim to the undercover agent, saying he had secretly recorded and had plans to drug and sexually assault the victim.

"You never know who it is,” Kicklighter said. “People have one face they want you to see in public. The upstanding perfect person. But at home when they're on their phone, the other side. The dark side. People never see that."

Kicklighter says monitoring apps is a massive challenge. On Kik alone, there are 300 million users and 250,000 new members daily.

"How easy is it to get on this app, join a group, and be a part of something illegal?" Kicklighter said. “Download the app, create your profile, search for a group, join it, and you're in. That's pretty scary."

Kicklighter also says once undercover agents connect with suspects, it's not hard to figure out who they are.

Copyright 2019 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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