Clayton A. Norfleet of West Columbia has pleaded guilty to using his work computer on board a federal research ship based in Charleston to frequent a website that “is notorious for a prevalence of child pornographic images and is frequented by pedophiles,” U.S. Attorney Beth Drake said in a news release on Thursday.
He was sentenced to four years in prison and lifetime supervision for possession of child pornography involving a minor.
The 55-year-old Clayton A. Norfleet was an electronics technician assigned to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ship Ron Brown.
A NOAA analyst discovered Norfleet’s computer activity when the Ron Brown was in the Pacific Ocean. When the ship docked at Fort Island, Hawaii, Norfleet’s government-assigned computer was seized and analyzed.
Child pornography link files, images and videos were captured in a “thumb cache” on the computer, Drake said. The forensic analysis determined Norfleet might have tried to avoid detection by logging in to the computer with an administrator account and using techniques that don’t leave internet history or browsing files on the local computer.
Confronted with the evidence, Norfleet admitted he viewed child pornography on board the ship. He admitted running “portable web browsers from a removable thumb drive,” Drake said.
He gave investigators the thumb drive he used and his personal computer from his West Columbia home, which also contained child porn images and video.