Officer charged with sharing child porn

An Army warrant officer surrendered to police Thursday after being identified as sharing child pornography via the Internet.

Chief Warrant Officer Richard Andrew Mitchell, 47, of the 1300 block of Hawksmoor Way in Grovetown, was charged with sexual exploitation of children.

He was released from the Columbia County Detention Center late Thursday after posting a $15,100 bond, according to jail workers.

Mitchell is accused of using software to share child pornography over the Internet, according to a news release from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. His arrest is the result of a joint investigation conducted by the GBI, Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, Fort Gordon and the Fort Walton Beach (Fla.) Police Department to identify the person sharing the pornography.

Police subpoenaed information from Internet service providers to identify Mitchell as the distributor, according to the GBI news release. They seized a laptop computer and external hard drive from Mitchell's home July 15. On the laptop, authorities found movie files of suspected child pornography.

A GBI investigator got a warrant for Mitchell's arrest.

Buz Yarnell, a Fort Gordon spokesman, said he could not comment on the incident. Any action against Mitchell would be done after the conclusion of the criminal case, Yarnell said.