State DEQ scientist pleads guilty to child porn charges

State DEQ scientist pleads guilty to child porn charges

November 2009

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wwltv.com

Posted on August 10, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 10 at 7:58 PM

Dominic Massa / Eyewitness News

NEW ORLEANS – A state scientist whose Uptown home was raided by federal agents nearly two years ago pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal child pornography charges, according to prosecutors.

Michael Drury, 55, worked as a state environmental scientist for the Department of Environmental Quality.

According to papers filed by U.S. Attorney Jim Letten’s office, Drury pleaded guilty to the child porn charges.

During a Nov. 2009 raid on Drury’s home in the 4400 block of Chestnut Street, agents recovered two laptop computers, and three computer storage drives, containing approximately 61 images “depicting the sexual victimization of children,” according to prosecutors.

Drury admitted to investigators that he downloaded the images onto his computer.

He was placed on administrative leave once the investigation began. His current status could not immediately be confirmed with a DEQ spokesman Wednesday afternoon.

At the time of the raid, DEQ said Drury’s work included monitoring the work of demolition and construction contractors involved in asbestos removal.

Drury faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  He will have to register as a sex offender.  Sentencing is set for Dec. 21.

The DEQ has issued the following statement:

"The department has not received any official word of a court decision. DEQ has zero tolerance for these kinds of allegations and are looking at all options. Once the department receives official documentation of any developments in this matter, the department will review and make the appropriate decision available to us based on the law."

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