Marine Colonel charged in child porn investigation - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Marine Colonel charged in child porn investigation

Dougherty County Police charged 48-year-old USMC Colonel Kyle Nickel with 25 counts of sexual exploitation of children. Dougherty County Police charged 48-year-old USMC Colonel Kyle Nickel with 25 counts of sexual exploitation of children.
Col. Nickel, seen walking into the sheriff's office with his attorney, is a more than 25 year veteran of the Marine Corps, and served in Iraq. Col. Nickel, seen walking into the sheriff's office with his attorney, is a more than 25 year veteran of the Marine Corps, and served in Iraq.
Colonel Nickel has been assigned to Logistics Command at the Albany Marine Base since August 2013 for special projects. Colonel Nickel has been assigned to Logistics Command at the Albany Marine Base since August 2013 for special projects.
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

A high-ranking officer from the Marine Corps Logistics Base (MCLB) has been arrested and charged in a child pornography investigation.

Dougherty County Police charged 48-year-old USMC Colonel Kyle Nickel with 25 counts of sexual exploitation of children.

Investigators said he had at least 25 images or videos of child pornography.

Col. Nickel is a more than 25 year veteran of the Marine Corps, and served in Iraq.

Officials said it was the Colonel's social media account on Twitter that was tagged in May 2015 because of suspected child porn.

That red flag triggered a federal investigation and a state investigation.

"He had a profile set up, which was not in his name," explained Dougherty County Police Lt. Chad Kirkpatrick. "I guess you could say it was an undercover profile for him. And [the] images were in this profile."

Police later raided Nickel's home and seized electronic equipment in July.

"Once the forensics were conducted on his devices, we were able to locate some of those same images on his Twitter profile on his device," Lt. Kirkpatrick said.

Nickel's attorney, Phil Cannon, said the Colonel was distraught over the charges.

"[It's] a misunderstanding," Cannon said. "He doesn't understand how his name has gotten connected to this email address. Until we get the facts and get the investigation, nobody really knows whether he is the real Kyle Nickel that these pictures were supposed to be sent to."

Officials at MCLB issued this statement:

Marine Corps Logistics Command and MCLB Albany are aware of the investigation and allegations against Colonel Kyle Nickel, and have been in coordination with state and local officials as the investigation has progressed.

We can confirm that Colonel Nickel is a Marine officer who has been assigned to Marine Corps Logistics Command since August 2013.

We will continue to work closely with state and local law enforcement, who are in the lead on this matter.

 Further questions should be directed to the Dougherty County Police Department.

Colonel Nickel has been assigned to Logistics Command at the Albany Marine Base since August 2013 for special projects.

If convicted, he could face between 5 and 20 years in prison for each one of the 25 charges.

Dougherty County Police said they have no evidence that ties Colonel Nickel to any children in South Georgia.

Investigators asked anyone who has suspicions of contact between Nickel and children to contact Dougherty County Police at 229-430-6600.

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