Youth Adviser to Return Home to Face Child Porn Charge; North Carolina Man Was Arrested on Trip Chaperoning Middle Schoolers on Jekyll Island Trip

Article excerpt

Byline: Teresa Stepzinski, The Times-Union

BRUNSWICK -- A Charlotte, N.C., church youth group adviser arrested on a federal child pornography charge last week while chaperoning youngsters on a trip to Jekyll Island agreed to return home to face court proceedings in the case.

Russell Earl Miller, 48, has been jailed without bail at the Glynn County Detention Center since being arrested by FBI and Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents July 1 during a church retreat trip at Summer Waves Waterpark.

Miller was taken into custody without incident on a federal complaint charging him with one count of distribution of child pornography.

The charge stems from an ongoing FBI undercover investigation into the distribution over the Internet of photographs showing young children engaged in sexually explicit conduct, according to affidavits from FBI Special Agent Linda Engstrom, lead investigator in the case.

Miller was with a group including about 20 middle school students and three other adult advisers from Charlotte when he was taken into custody by FBI Special Agent Timothy McNair.

McNair said Thursday that the arrest followed on the heels of an FBI search of Miller's home.

"The discovery of sexually explicit photographs of young children and 195 pairs of girls' panties and seven training bras that were among his clothes at his home led to his arrest," McNair said. "There also was concern because he was here with a group of children."

As a safety precaution for the children and to avoid traumatizing them, McNair -- aided by GBI agents and state troopers -- had Miller summoned to the waterpark office where he was arrested.

Photographs of two youngsters -- about 12 and 11 years old -- who were attending the Jekyll retreat were mixed in with dozens of magazine photos of young children along with several pornographic pictures, Engstrom said in the affidavit.

"At this time, there is no evidence of any sexually explicit conduct involving children during the Jekyll Island trip," McNair said.

Miller appeared before U.S. Magistrate James Graham in Brunswick on Thursday for a preliminary hearing to determine if he would remain in custody or be released pending future court proceedings. …

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