FLOYD COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — A man was sentenced to life in prison after posting pictures on the dark web of a young child.
According to the Floyd County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, in March of 2022, Homeland Security agents in New York State executed a search warrant where they discovered an “on-demand” child pornography organization on the dark web. During the investigation, authorities found electronic evidence that traced back to a production site in Floyd County.
The investigation led them to Aaron David Vest’s home.
On March 24, the Department of Homeland Security, Virginia State Police, and the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office authorities issued a search warrant for Vest’s home.
A cell phone with over 25 pictures that matched the photos found on the devices in New York was discovered by authorities. However, when authorities asked Vest about the images, he admitted to taking them and using them to trade them for other explicit pictures among other child pornographers.
Throughout the course of the case, it was revealed that Vest would give over-the-counter cold medicine to make the child sleepy before taking pictures. He would then post the photos on the dark web.
During the trial, the defense argued the court should impose a sentence within the guidelines of no more than 17 years, due to Vest’s cooperation and lack of prior history.
However, Vest was sentenced to life and an additional 30 years under the following charges:
- Sexual object penetration, the maximum
- Ten years on felony child abuse, the maximum
- 20 years on the production of child pornography, out of a possible 30 years
The Commonwealth Attorney’s Office says none of his time was suspended.