Detailed by ABC affiliate WJLA, police were likely surprised when 21-year-old Jay Matthew Riley of Woodbridge, Virginia strolled into a Prince William police station in order to inquire about any warrants issued for him on child pornography charges. Prior to his visit to the police station, Riley was apparently using his laptop when a “ransomware” window appeared on his screen likely from some form of computer virus on his computer.
Within the window, a message warned Riley that child pornography had been located on his hard drive and he needed to pay a fine or face prosecution from the FBI. This a common scam that attempts to extort money from anyone using the computer, specifically amounts between $200 and $500. Basically, the user is tricked into believing that their computer is unusable unless they enter payment information.
Riley was nice enough to bring his laptop into the police station with him while inquiring about law enforcement’s interest in his online activities. After voluntarily handing over the laptop to authorities, police officers searched the computer and located photos of underage girls in addition to inappropriate conversations with underage girls. After determining that one of the girls was in fact thirteen and located within the United States, the police executed a search of Riley’s home in order to take possession of all computers and electronic devices.
At this point, police arrested Riley and charged him with “three counts of possession of child pornography, one count of using a communication device to solicit certain offenses involving children, and one count of indecent liberties with a minor.” Riley is being held without bond at this time. When asked about the unusual incident, Prince William County Police spokesman Officer Jonathan Perok said “We’ve never had a case like this, I’m safe to say that, But the nature of what we have here is quite significant and severe.”