NORFOLK, Va. — Federal agents arrested a Newport News law enforcement officer for alleged crimes against children Friday morning, according to police.
Sgt. Michael Covey was taken into custody at the Newport News Police Department headquarters.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) informed the police department of the ongoing investigation into Sgt. Covey on Thursday. He had a warrant out for his arrest filed that same day.
Sgt. Covey was charged with one count of crimes against children and taken to Norfolk to appear before a federal magistrate.
"Shock, disbelief and fear. Honestly, for somebody [me] with a kid, a small kid, especially and small kids in my families," said Newport News resident and mother Aissetou Diallo.
Diallo described it as "frightening" to learn of Sgt. Covey's charge and arrest.
He most recently served on assignment with the Special Operations K-9 Division, according to a press release. He has worked at the department for approximately 16 years.
13News Now obtained documents that show this investigation dates back to another case out of southeastern Ohio in February. In that Hocking County case, a convicted sex offender by the initials R.G. is accused of disseminating what looked to be child pornography.
As months passed, court documents showed investigators continuing their efforts and reviewing other files R.G. stored.
Agents then found two pictures and three videos of "apparent child exploitation" of an underage girl. They alleged a connection between those images and Sgt. Covey in Newport News.
"These are the people who are supposed to be watching out for the kids and protecting everybody and these are the people we call when we feel in danger," Diallo added.
Records showed Sgt. Covey will stay behind bars at least until a court hearing set for June 15 at 2:30 p.m.
He is on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the FBI investigation, according to the press release.
A spokesperson with the department denied our interview request with Police Chief Steve Drew about Sgt. Covey's arrest because it is a federal investigation.