Nicholas deputy charged in connection with child pornography investigation

SUMMERSVILLE, W.Va. — A suspended Nicholas County sheriff’s deputy appeared in U.S. Magistrate Court Thursday after being charged in a child pornography investigation.

Jarrod Bennett

Jarrod Steven Bennett, 38, of Mount Nebo, was arrested Wednesday after a federal indictment was unsealed. The 11-count indictment alleges child pornography crimes including attempts to destroy images to obstruct an investigation by federal authorities.

“One of our very own has done what’s been alleged of an unthinkable crime,” Nicholas County Sheriff William Nunley said in a Facebook Live post.

Nunley, who said his comments Thursday were part of a Public Service Announcement, said he first learned of the federal investigation on June 5. He said Bennett was suspended that day.

“Immediately my office issued a letter of suspension regarding that investigation and we also collected his department-issued items,” Nunley said.

The indictment alleges Bennett attempted to engage a minor in sexually explicit conduct.

Nunley said federal investigations tend to move swiftly once they enter the court system.

“These type of investigations become very complex in every aspect from the children involved and any other individuals that may be involved in the crimes,” Nunley said. “The main thing to consider is that I believe justice will be served.”

Nunley asked the public to pray for the children and families involved.