WASHINGTON – A Virginia man was sentenced today in federal court in Roanoke, Va., to 150 years in prison on multiple charges involving the sexual exploitation of minors and the operation of child pornography websites, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher for the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney John L. Brownlee of the Western District of Virginia announced today.
Gregory John Mitchel, 39, of Dublin, Va., received the sentence today at a hearing in federal court in the Western District of Virginia. Mitchel pleaded guilty on Jan. 27, 2006 to the production, distribution, sale and possession of child pornography. Mitchel had been convicted previously of child pornography offenses.
“Today's 150-year sentence is strong evidence of our commitment to punish severely child predators like Mr. Mitchel,” said U.S. Attorney Brownlee. “With the imposition of this sentence, Mr. Mitchel is no longer a danger to our children.”
The investigation that resulted in Mitchel’s conviction revealed that Mitchel facilitated and assisted in the daily operation of child pornography websites. The sites Mitchel administered—including a website called JustinFriends.com—sold membership subscriptions to individuals looking to obtain videos of minor boys engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Mitchel was also directly responsible for producing content for the websites by filming videos of minors engaging in sex acts. Mitchel and others received proceeds from the membership subscriptions.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Sherri A. Stephan of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph W. H. Mott of the Western District of Virginia.