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Posted April 12, 2013 | comments Leave a comment

Woodstock man faces 52 child porn charges

By Joe Beck

A man who was the target of an undercover online investigation by the Woodstock Police Department has been indicted in Shenandoah County Circuit Court on 52 child pornography-related charges.

All but two of the charges against Travis Coverstone, 22, of Woodstock, accuse him of possessing child pornography. He was also charged with using a computer to solicit sex with a child and attempted indecent liberties with a child.

Coverstone was initially charged with only three counts, but Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Louis Campola said law enforcement officers are continuing to conduct a forensic investigation of Coverstone's computer and electronic files. The 49 new charges filed against Coverstone are a product of photos discovered since his arrest, Campola said.

"We're still looking at the computer to see if there are any more pictures of that sort," Campola said. "There still could be additional charges, depending on what we find."

The online investigation was organized around Woodstock Investigator Derek Good's impersonation of a 14-year-old girl during online communications with Coverstone.

Authorities have said Coverstone was arrested after he appeared at a public location where he had agreed to meet Good during a previous online communication.

Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp set Coverstone's next court appearance for 2 p.m. May 29 and ordered him held without bond in the Shenandoah County jail.

In other indictments Wednesday, U.S. Forest Service ranger Damion James McElroy was charged with reckless handling of a firearm for an incident in which he is accused of firing a shot into the wall of his home at 762 Christianson Drive in Strasburg during a visit from a clergyman.

McElroy's attorney said during a preliminary hearing that the clergyman was not in the room when the handgun went off, and McElroy's actions did not endanger anyone. McElroy remains free on bail.

Grand jury indictments were also issued against Andrew Wayne Stroop, 25, of 9583 Shenandoah Drive, New Market, on two counts of assault and battery against a law enforcement officer.

Authorities accuse Stroop of fighting with Owen Heine, a game warden with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Brent Lutz as they tried to arrest him on Dec. 18. Heine reported suffering a broken finger during the struggle near the intersection of Moreland Gap Road and Dogwood Trail.

Hupp ordered Stroop to remain in jail without bond and scheduled his next court appearance for 9 a.m. May 29.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com

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