Former Muskegon man indicted on child porn charges

Muskegon County
James Russell 040919_1554854669685.jpg.jpg

A mug shot of James Russell. (April 2019)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man has been indicted on several federal charges for allegedly producing child pornography in West Michigan.

An indictment filed Wednesday accuses James Russell of three counts of sexual exploitation of a children and a count each of transportation and possession of child porn.

Federal court documents say that Russell took inappropriate photos of an 8-year-old boy in 2009 and took those images across state lines in 2018.

He was arrested in the Las Vegas area in March after the FBI office there got a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that he had posted some of the photos online. A man in Norton Shores told police that Russell took thousands of photos of him and sexually abused him for years.

Russell was working as a teacher in Nevada when he was arrested and had worked as a teacher and principal elsewhere. Authorities say that at various times, he has also been a guardian, babysitter, coach, lifeguard, camp counselor and in youth ministry.

If convicted of the federal charges, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

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