CHARLES TOWN – A 54-year-old arrested Friday on child pornography charges had dressed up as Santa Claus during his long tenure at Citizens Fire Co. and worked as a driver for River Riders in the summer. His Facebook bio says he’s also employed by a Virginia school system.
Alan M. Williams is now facing a felony charge of possession, distributing or exhibiting child pornography. He was arrested after a sting operation that began online on April 7.
About 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Department of Homeland Security investigators and West Virginia State Police officers found Williams in his pickup parked in front of his home – with a minor in the passenger seat. The police report said she appeared to be between 8 and 12 years old.
When authorities executed a search warrant on his home, they found more than 100 DVDs and CDs and multiple sexually explicit images of girls as young as 8.
Williams, who lived at 940 Jefferson Ave. in Charles Town, has no connections to any of the victims, police said.
According to court records, Special Agent Aaron McClellan of the Department of Homeland Security investigations division in Washington, D.C., on April 10 received information about an individual that turned out to be Williams.
The person used the online screen name “I Wanna See More” and had been using an image file sharing website that showed they were sexually suggestive of minor children, McClellan was told from a cyber crime center in Queensland, Australia.
McClellan, working undercover, engaged Williams in an email chat where both talked about their “common sexual interest with children,” according to the police report. The undercover officer and Williams both said they had sexually abused underage girls, the police report states.
An official with Citizens Fire Co. posted a Facebook message on Saturday morning saying “a member of this department” had been arrested the night before “for very serious criminal charges.”
The post goes on: “We, Citizens Fire Co., upon receiving the confirmation of the investigation and prior to the arrest, terminated the person as a member of our department.”
The post does not mention Williams by name but says “the person” is no longer in any way associated with Citizens and that “the criminal charges do not have anything to do with Citizens Fire Co.or any other members of our department.”
At the time of his arrest, Williams was a housemate of Jefferson County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Ron Fletcher, also a longtime volunteer at Citizens and the the fire company’s president for the past decade.
Jefferson County Sheriff Peter Dougherty has said that Fletcher is not suspected of any wrongdoing. He said the Williams investigation is continuing and is now a federal investigation.
Williams, who asked for a court-appointed attorney, was held at the Eastern Regional Jail before posting a $100,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is set for 9:30 a.m. April 25 in magistrate court in Charles Town.
If convicted on the single count of child porn possession, Williams could face two to 10 years behind bars.
Williams had been suspended without pay from his job as a bus driver with Loudoun County Public Schools, Wayde Byard, the school system’s public information officer, said Tuesday.
Williams’ Facebook page also lists River Riders as an employer and includes photos of him on the job in a company shirt.
His bio says he attended Loudoun Valley (Va.) High School, studied emergency medicine and paramedic training at George Washington University and is originally from Hillsboro, Va.