HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The non-profit organization leader faces nine counts of child pornography after authorities found ‘multiple’ images on ‘multiple’ electronic devices, according to a news release. The release says images appear to not be of local victims at this time.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office says Terrence Michael Sweeney, 56, was arrested after law enforcement conducted a search at the 11000 block of Irene Drive at 6 a.m.
"That's what the search warrants were for was for child pornography. Whatever they had done in the investigation led to their being child pornography photos on the devices, and that's why they went there, and they seized the devices. And in their initial investigation they saw several child pornography photographs," Lieutenant Donny Shaw said.
The investigation was a partnership with Homeland Security. Shaw says it appears Sweeney worked alone to obtain the images.
"Images that he had is something that he downloaded from a website, a deep website."
Sweeney is currently listed as the president of Breaking Boundaries. The organization was founded after the April 2011 tornadoes swept through the Tennessee Valley. He and his wife, Luci Stubblefield-Sweeney, co-founded the organization as a disaster relief, but later transitioned their focus to break the boundaries created by unforeseen life-changing events, according to their website.
The 56-year-old announced he was running as a Democratic candidate last year, seeking Mo Brooks’ seat in Congress. However, he did not appear on the ballot. He is also a Navy veteran.
WHNT News 19 contacted Breaking Boundaries. A person claiming to be Michael Sweeney answered the phone, but we were unable to verify it was him.
He explained that he didn't know why law enforcement officials wanted to search his house. He said he had no idea he was facing child pornography charges until after he was released from jail.
He says he thinks it could have been due to the fact that he was charged with possession of marijuana in the 1980's and that there were firearms in his home.