Gulfport man used Wi-Fi at Mississippi casino to download child porn, officials say

Russell Haley
Russell Haley

A Gulfport man will spend 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to child exploitation.

Russell Haley, 67, pleaded guilty Friday in Warren County Circuit Court and was sentenced by Judge James Chaney to 40 years in prison. He will serve 10, with 30 years suspended, and was ordered to pay a $50,000 fine and another $1,000 paid to the Mississippi Children’s Trust Fund and $1,000 to the Mississippi Crime Victim Compensation Fund.

Haley also must register as a sex offender upon his release from prison and is banned for life from the premises of any casino.

Haley was arrested in August 2015 at Diamond Jacks Casino in Vicksburg after an investigation showed he was using the free Wi-Fi at casino hotels in Mississippi and Louisiana to download hundreds of images of child sexual abuse.

The practice went on for several months, according to a press release from Attorney General Jim Hood’s office. He would check into the hotel under an alias to conceal his identity.

The conviction came as a result of a joint investigation by the Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, Mississippi Gaming Commissions, Louisiana State Police Special Victims Unit, Louisiana State Police Gaming Detectives and the Warren County Sheriff's Office.

“This man thought he could hide, but our investigators and those with the assisting agencies work every day to be sure child predators are not safe to commit these crimes in our state,” said Hood. “I am proud of the partnership our ICAC Task Force has with agencies across the state, and their success is clear when working together on cases like this.”

This case was prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Brandon Ogburn of the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit.

Kate Magandy: 228-896-2344, @kmagandy