A West Virginia man will serve 14 years in the Virginia state penitentiary after being convicted of possession of child pornography in Buchanan County.
Jamie Grant Castle, 41, of Fort Gay, West Virginia was sentenced May 14 in Buchanan County Circuit Court. Grant also received an additional 84 years in prison which was suspended on the condition that he complete 5 years of active supervised probation upon his release and must register as a Sex Offender.
At the sentencing hearing, Investigator Mark Lowe testified that during an Internet Undercover Operation, a computer containing child pornography images had been identified, and that Jamie Castle was the suspected user. Investigators with the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office obtained a search warrant for Castle’s residence in Grundy and seized his computers.
Images recovered from the computer showed children as young as 6 engaging in sexual acts and intercourse with mature adults. As a result of those images, warrants for Castle were obtained; however, according to his landlord, Castle never returned to his home. Authorities in West Virginia attempted to locate Castle at his parent’s home in Fort Gay but were unsuccessful.
Lowe testified that he continued to monitor Castle’s social security number and other identifying information for several years hoping that it would lead the authorities to his wherabouts. In September 2017, Lowe determined that a man using the name of “Jonathan Smith” and Castle’s social security number had obtained a passport and was living in Colorado. Lowe contacted the Rocky Mountain Fugitive Task Force and worked with them to apprehend and extradite Castle back to Buchanan County for prosecution.
Several friends and family members testified and wrote letters to the Court asking the Court for leniency because of Castle’s lack of a criminal history, previous involvement in the Fort Gay community, and his parents advanced age.
The prosecution argued that Castle was deserving of a substantial sentence given the vile and disturbing nature of the images that Castle possessed. During argument, Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Pebbles Burgess told the Court “I’ve viewed them 3 times preparing this case, and I hope that I never have to see them again.” The prosecution further pointed out that Castle had intentionally fled Buchanan County, had gotten married, changed his name, and moved to the Rockies in an elaborate attempt to evade capture.
When asked for comment, Commonwealth’s Attorney Gerald Arrington said
“I am very proud of the results that we were able to obtain in Mr. Castle’s case. Without the hard work of my office, the Sheriff’s Office, and numerous other agencies over the course of several years, Mr. Castle might have never had to answer for his actions.” Arrington went on to say that “Many of the children that are depicted in child pornography end up missing, dead, or simply lost in the streets of our society. As prosecutors, we have stand up for them and be their voice.”