On Friday Attorney General Jim Hood announced that a 67-year-old Gulfport man will serve time in prison for one count of child exploitation.
Defendant Russell Haley pled guilty in an open plea Friday in Warren County Circuit Court to one count of child exploitation. Judge James Chaney sentenced Haley to 40 years in prison with 10 to serve and 30 suspended. Additionally, the judge ordered Haley to pay a $50,000 fine, $1,000 to the Mississippi Children’s Trust Fund and $1,000 to the Mississippi Crime Victim Compensation Fund.
Haley will register as a sex offender upon his release from prison and is banned from the premises of any casino, which is where he was located when downloading the child pornography.
Police arrested Haley in August 2015 at the Diamond Jacks Casino in Vicksburg.
A joint investigation involving the Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Mississippi Gaming Commissions, Louisiana State Police Special Victims Unit, Louisiana State Police Gaming Detectives and Warren County Sheriff's Office led to Haley's arrest.
The investigation uncovered that Haley used free Wi-Fi provided by casino hotels throughout Mississippi and Louisiana to download hundreds of child sexual abuse images. Haley downloaded these images for several months, using different aliases when checking into the hotel.
“This man thought he could hide, but our investigators and those with the assisting agencies work every day to be sure child predators are not safe to commit these crimes in our state,” said Hood. “I am proud of the partnership our ICAC Task Force has with agencies across the state, and their success is clear when working together on cases like this.”
The Warren County Jail will transfer Haley to the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
Special Assistant Attorney General Brandon Ogburn of the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit prosecuted this case.