Saturday, August 18, 2018
Military News

MacDill officer sought out 'pervs,' records in child porn case show

TAMPA — A major at MacDill Air Force Base was going to be in Washington, D.C., for training at the Pentagon's National Defense University and wanted to make a new friend.

So Air Force Reserve transportation officer David Mario Riley answered an online Craigslist ad from a man who was looking for someone with a sexual interest in children.

Riley wrote an email in December: "Hi, I saw your ad … while looking for other pervs in the area … I will be visiting DC from jan 27-feb 7, but will be alone … and would like to get together with other pervs and explore taboo."

That contact is described in federal court records charging Riley, 37, of Tampa, former commander of the 927th Logistics Readiness Squadron at MacDill, with distributing child pornography.

Federal prosecutors said Riley sent eight photos depicting child pornography to a person he thought was a like-minded individual.

In fact, the person who placed the ad was an undercover police officer working a sting.

Riley was arrested in Washington on Thursday and is being held without bail pending an initial appearance Friday in U.S. District Court. If convicted, Riley faces a minimum prison sentence of five years.

Riley has done a variety of jobs at MacDill since 2005. He commanded the 927th logistics squadron for two years ending in 2010, overseeing transportation issues for troops and equipment, according to the Air Force Reserve Command.

The squadron is affiliated with the 927th Air Refueling Wing, which is a reserve unit at MacDill that flies KC-135 aerial refueling aircraft.

Until last month, Riley was assigned to a logistics branch at U.S. Special Operations Central, or SocCent, a subordinate command of U.S. Central Command, which has its headquarters at MacDill.

The Air Force Reserve Command listed Riley as SocCent "plans division chief," but a spokesman could not confirm whether Riley is the chief or simply assigned to the chief's office.

In an online resume, Riley also lists himself as a CentCom transportation officer. CentCom has spearheaded the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Riley left SocCent for a new job at another command, MacDill officials say, when he traveled to Washington earlier this month to attend unspecified training at the defense university.

In emails or instant messages to the undercover officer, Riley said he had a previous sexual encounter with his ex-girlfriend's 6-year-old daughter, according to an arrest affidavit by a metropolitan police officer in Washington.

Riley, a married father with a 6-year-old daughter, said he had not touched his own child, the affidavit said.

The undercover officer sent Riley a picture of a girl he said was his daughter. Riley, the affidavit said, responded, "What is the purpose of showing me pics of your daughter? Do you want to share her? … no pressure from me. Just curious."

Riley later discussed having a sexual encounter with the girl, police said.

Officials at the MacDill commands where Riley has worked declined to comment on Tuesday.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. William R. Levesque can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Howard Altman: Afghan journalist struggles to work among hazards of his war-torn home

Howard Altman: Afghan journalist struggles to work among hazards of his war-torn home

From afar, Afghan journalist Massood Sanjer has been watching horrors unfolding in his homeland with great concern.During his time here in the United States as part of a State Department-sponsored visit, the city of Ghazni was besieged by the Taliban...
Published: 08/15/18
Updated: 08/17/18
MacDill says its economic impact jumped 8 percent in three years

MacDill says its economic impact jumped 8 percent in three years

TAMPA — MacDill Air Force Base has long been a key driver of the Tampa Bay economy, spending billions on payroll, construction and retiree pensions.But just how much of a powerhouse the base is depends on how you look at the numbers presented Wednesd...
Published: 08/15/18
Updated: 08/16/18
What’s it like for military families who have to move so often? Meet the Snelsons

What’s it like for military families who have to move so often? Meet the Snelsons

Alexandra Snelson sat on a brown leather couch between her younger sister and her mother and talked about what it’s like to pick up and move again and again as a military child.In June, she was introduced to her sixth home.She is only 10."Well, I do ...
Published: 08/13/18
Processing system will speed claims, care, new VA secretary tells Tampa crowd

Processing system will speed claims, care, new VA secretary tells Tampa crowd

TAMPA — Speaking to a gathering of the nation’s oldest veterans service organization, Robert Wilkie introduced himself Friday as new Department of Veterans Affairs secretary and touted a plan to fix one of the oldest challenges facing those who serve...
Published: 08/10/18
Howard Altman: Homeless veteran finally agrees to leave the woods behind

Howard Altman: Homeless veteran finally agrees to leave the woods behind

Thomas "T-Man" Brown called me up Wednesday afternoon with news that came as a welcome surprise.A former Army staff sergeant who works with Tampa Crossroads helping homeless veterans, Brown was exuberant."Randy the roofer is finally coming out of the...
Published: 08/09/18
SOCom rolls out plans for 2019 Warrior Games in Tampa

SOCom rolls out plans for 2019 Warrior Games in Tampa

TAMPA — U.S. Special Operations Command, which synchronizes the global war on terror, is gearing up for a new mission.The command is working to make sure the Department of Defense Warrior Games, which are coming to Tampa next year between June 21 and...
Published: 08/07/18
Updated: 08/12/18
Proponents win effort to have traffic signal installed in front of Haley VA hospital

Proponents win effort to have traffic signal installed in front of Haley VA hospital

TAMPA — They worked it like a military campaign — Operation Traffic Signal.It wasn’t exactly the Normandy landings, but lives will be saved, proponents promise, with their victory in a four-year effort to get a traffic signal installed in front of th...
Published: 08/03/18
Questions arise over active military burn pits as Bilirakis moves to help victims

Questions arise over active military burn pits as Bilirakis moves to help victims

PALM HARBOR — As Congress takes up legislation to help veterans exposed to toxic burn pits overseas, military leaders acknowledged Wednesday that one pit still operates in Syria — as well as smaller pits throughout the Middle East where the waste tha...
Updated one month ago
Epilogue: Michael DeLong, retired Marine three-star and former CentCom deputy commander, has died

Epilogue: Michael DeLong, retired Marine three-star and former CentCom deputy commander, has died

TREASURE ISLAND — Like a lot of young men, Michael P. DeLong got some important life advice from his father.But unlike most men, Phillip DeLong was a Marine colonel and fighter pilot who had the distinction of being an ace in World War II and Korea.T...
Updated one month ago
Return of remains from Korea brings back memories for local families

Return of remains from Korea brings back memories for local families

Sharon Cook was happy to learn Friday that the remains of U.S. service members who disappeared during the Korean War were apparently being returned after nearly seven decades."I had such a smile on my face when I read about it," said Cook, of St. Pet...
Updated one month ago