NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A Newport News police officer was arrested on one count of crimes against children on Friday, police say.

According to Newport News police, they were informed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that federal agents arrested Sgt. Michael Covey, 39, and took him into custody at NNPD headquarters.

Covey was subsequently sent to Norfolk to appear before a federal magistrate.

Covey has been with the department for 16 years and was recently assigned to the Special Operations K-9 Division. He has been placed on administrative leave with pay, pending the outcome of the investigation.

10 On Your Side obtained a copy of the court document that outlines the investigation. It began in February, when the Hocking County Sheriff’s Office, in Ohio, received a cyber tip regarding child pornography. The tip led to a convicted sex offender referred to as R.G. who was placed under arrest.

Following a federal search warrant, analysis of imagery of apparent child exploitation led detectives to a home in Newport News and ultimately to the arrest of Sgt. Michael Covey.

The affidavit states that “probable cause exists to conclude Michael Covey violated Title 18 of the United States Code, 2251(a) in relation to the sexual exploitation of children.”

Covey was expected to have his first court appearance in Norfolk on Wednesday, but that preliminary hearing was moved to Friday, June 17 instead. During Friday’s arraignment, Covey pleaded not guilty and waived a detention hearing.

If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison and maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.

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