Gainesville Man Charged With Making and Distributing Child Pornography
Victims Were Two Girls in Defendant’s Care
GAINESVILLE, Ga. – Michael Cannon, II, was arraigned today on charges that he produced, distributed, and received child pornography. The indictment was returned by a federal grand jury on April 9, 2013.
“Photographing molestation and trading the images over the Internet with like-minded individuals in exchange for more child pornography is horrendous,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “Child pornography robs children of their innocence. It also places a permanent record of the victimization of these children on the internet. To make matters even worse, in this case the two girls were in the defendant’s care. Law enforcement officers have identified and rescued the children, and the defendant will now have to answer for participating in this cycle of victimization.”
“While HSI special agents are working around the clock and around the world to drain the cesspool that is child pornography, the identification and rescue of victims suffering at the hands of depraved child predators is of the highest priority,” said Brock D. Nicholson, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations, Atlanta. “Every single law enforcement agency in this country is absolutely dedicated to hunting down these predators and holding them accountable for their despicable actions. I strongly encourage citizens everywhere to do their part to help protect our innocent children by reporting any signs of abuse they witness. It will take the collective efforts of law enforcement and members of our communities to successfully bring these monsters to justice.”
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: In mid-December 2012, Cannon, 33, of Gainesville, Ga., allegedly posted several images of a 10-year-old girl on a foreign-based website where people could post and share photographs. At least one of the images was child pornography. Several individuals posted comments on Cannon’s photographs and asked about trading photos. According to the information presented in court, Cannon gave them his e-mail address and, when they wrote him, he sent them explicit photographs showing him in the act of molesting two young girls. In return, he received dozens of e-mails containing images and videos of other children being sexually abused. As part of their investigation, special agents determined the true identities of the two minor victims that Cannon is alleged to have .photographed and posted online.
The charge of producing child pornography carries a mandatory minimum period of confinement of 15 years and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. The charge of receiving child pornography carries a mandatory minimum confinement period of 5 years and a maximum term of 20 years in prison. The charge of possessing child pornography carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Each charge carries a fine of up to $250,000 and a period of supervised release from 5 years to life. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictments only contain charges. The defendants are presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove each defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
These cases are being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Attorney General launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney's Offices around the country, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the United States Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations.
Assistant United States Attorney Paul R. Jones is prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs 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.