NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Newport News man was sentenced Wednesday after being convicted of three counts of receipt of child pornography and one count of making a false statement to an agent of the U.S.
United States District Judge Robert Doumar sentenced Gregory L. Tropea, 52, to 28 years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release, according to Margaret Jahn with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Tropea pleaded guilty on November 7.
According to court documents, Tropea’s charges stemmed from a missing persons report in May after a friend had not heard from him in several days, Jahn said. Police went to the Host Inn, where he was living, and learned Tropea had left on a bicycle three days earlier, but never returned.
Jahn said police found contact information for Tropea’s probation officer in his hotel room, who they called and learned Tropea was on supervised federal release for fraud and possession of child pornography and that he was barred from having a computer. Because officers had already noticed a laptop in the hotel room, they stopped the search when they discovered Tropea was in violation of his supervision.
“FBI agents obtained a search warrant and numerous items were seized, including the computer and [a coffee can full of] thumb drives,” Jahn said. “A forensic exam of the computer and thumb drives was conducted and over 40,000 images of child pornography were found.”
Tropea was later located at an area jail.