Man arrested on child pornography, trafficking charges following search in Madison neighborhood

Man arrested on child pornography, trafficking charges following search in Madison neighborhood
Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 3:00 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 3, 2022 at 4:22 PM CDT
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MADISON, Ala. (WAFF) - Police officers, armored vehicles and the FBI descended on a street in Madison on Wednesday to execute a search warrant.

Loud booms could be heard coming from a home in the Pebblebrook subdivision near Gooch Lane and Wall Triana Highway. The Madison Police Department assisted the FBI in the “court-ordered action.” Police blocked off the entire area for hours.

According to an FBI agent’s affidavit filed in federal court, 56-year-old William Spearman was arrested in connection to a child pornography and trafficking website.

In the complaint, Spearman’s offenses were described as engaging in a child exploitation enterprise and conspiracy to advertise child pornography. The complaint reads that Spearman was involved in the offenses between March 2018 through November 2022 in the county of Palm Beach in Florida.

Spearman is believed to have shared numerous URL links via a website with a group of 10 or more people. Those links redirected to web pages displaying child pornography files.

The report also claims that Spearman was a member and facilitator of a website that advertised, distributed and exchanged child pornography.

In the documents Spearman is referred to as the ‘SUBJECT USER’ and it was discovered that he recommended other users for promotion, welcomed users to the site, provided guidance to users, and recruited users to serve as room moderators on the website.

During the search warrant on Spearman’s home in Madison, he admitted to FBI agents that he was the ‘SUBJECT USER’ on the website. He admitted that he had been on the website since 2018 and had shared child pornography on the site and had taken steps to manage the site. He also said he owned some of the files on personal devices in his home.

FBI agents found Spearman in his garage near a desk with a laptop on it. Although the screen on the laptop was frozen, it still showed evidence of him accessing the website and another website that was dedicated to child sexual exploitation. In addition to that, a thumb drive was found in a box in the garage that held a large volume of child pornography.

The report goes into graphic detail about what was found on the thumb drive. We will not report the descriptions.