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FBI raids photography studio, West End townhome

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – FBI agents raided a downtown Richmond photography studio and a West End townhome Friday for possible child porn.

Members of the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force told CBS 6 News’ Jon Burkett they are concerned about the types of photos that may have been taken at Studio 8 West.

Task force members, who executed a search warrant Friday morning, said they are investigating possible production and distribution of child porn.

CBS 6 News cameras were rolling as detectives sifted evidence through the West Broad Street studio.

Investigators also removed computers and evidence from a home at the Three Chopt Village Townhomes.

“With the door busted in to the home and also detectives at the business, they would have to have probable cause to get a search warrant to go into both places,” said Todd Stone, a legal expert for CBS 6.

No one has been arrested, but sources said that is because the original lease holder may have been subbing out studio space and it could take a few days to sort things out.

“If this is a situation where you’ve got one person who leases the space – and lets other photographers use the space — then it doesn’t surprise me they haven’t issued arrest warrants yet…,” said Stone.

Police will not say what led them to studio or townhome, but Stone said child porn cases, if proven, always carry strong penalties.

“If this you are talking about possession of child pornography, then that is a severe penalty and people end up going to prison for awhile,” said Stone.

However, Stone said those convicted of producing and distributing child porn face much more severe penalties.

If you have information that could investigators, call Detective Kevin Hiner at 804-646-6197. 

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