ATLANTA – Johnny Lee Cole, 43, of Stone Mountain, Georgia, a previously convicted sex offender who possessed and distributed child pornography, was sentenced today before Chief United States District Judge Julie E. Carnes to 15 years and 8 months in prison.
“The damage done to our community by the distribution of child pornography is incalculable,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “Children are victimized when the images and videos are produced, and are victimized repeatedly each time the images are distributed to others. This case reflects our effort to break that vicious cycle of victimization.”
“As a convicted sex offender, Mr. Cole has already demonstrated that he poses a threat to the most vulnerable members of our communities, our children,” said Brock D. Nicholson, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Atlanta. “Thanks to the hard work and determination of HSI special agents and prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, that threat has now been removed.”
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: During an undercover child pornography investigation which began in November 2011, an ICE/HSI special agent made contact with Cole using a publicly available peer-to-peer computer network. During the investigation, on two separate occasions, Cole made available to the special agent numerous images and a video of child pornography. In a subsequent search of Cole’s home, law enforcement recovered Cole’s computer, which contained additional images and videos of child pornography.
In 2003, in the Superior Court of DeKalb County, Georgia, Cole was convicted of enticing a child for indecent purposes.
This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and to identify and rescue victims.
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the DeKalb County Police Department.
Assistant United States Attorney Brent Alan Gray prosecuted the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney's Public Information Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.