FBI raid in North Augusta targeted suspected child porn distribution, court docs show

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Jun. 3—A collection of documents recently filed in federal court reveals authorities raided a home in North Augusta last month in an attempt to seize a stash of child pornography and the means by which it was reportedly shared.

Search warrant applications and affidavits show the FBI considered Michael Gusko of North Augusta to be a possessor and distributor of child pornography. An account traced back to him, court documents allege, had uploaded lewd photos and videos of minors to Kik. Kik is a free messaging app.

FBI documents detail 13 files, each dated 2020.

A federal seizure warrant was executed at 1121 Lake Greenwood Drive, North Augusta, on May 18, weeks after surveillance was done on the home. Gusko was there at the time and agreed to answer questions while authorities swept the place, according to a recap of the investigation filed with the court.

Phones, tablets, laptops and storage drives were seized. Authorities as of May 21 believed the items — or what was kept on them — could help point them in the direction of the child pornography source. The FBI consulted with the Aiken County Sheriff's Office as part of its investigation.

Gusko was reported missing by his wife after the raid, affidavits explain. He was eventually found dead by suicide, according to officials and a filing with the court.

An inquiry made to the FBI's Columbia field office was not immediately returned Thursday.

Generally, the Aiken Standard does not report suicides or suicide attempts, unless the person involved is a well-known figure or the circumstances are particularly unusual or publicly disruptive.

The National Suicide Hotline can be reached at 800-273-8255. Other resources can be found online at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

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