News

Baltimore Man Sentenced to Five Years in Prison For Distributing Child Pornography Online


Possessed 5,000 Images and 200 Videos of Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 10, 2011

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge William M. Nickerson sentenced Kenneth Johnson, age 21, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to five years in prison followed by 20 years of supervised release for distributing child pornography. Judge Nickerson also ordered Johnson to register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Colonel Terrence Sheridan, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.

According to Johnson’s plea agreement, an undercover FBI agent from the Philadelphia division connected to the Internet on March 4, 2010 and observed Johnson logged in to a publicly-available peer-to-peer file sharing program. The agent browsed Johnson’s shared directories and observed files which, through their titles, appeared to depict child pornography. Johnson was sharing more than 60,000 files. The agent downloaded images from Johnson’s shared files and found at least 53 images of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

Independent of the Philadelphia FBI’s investigation, on March 17, 2010, an FBI undercover agent in San Diego, California browsed Johnson’s shared directories from a publicly-available peer-to-peer file sharing program and observed files which, through their titles, appeared to depict child pornography. Johnson was sharing more than 65,870 files. The agent downloaded at least 221 images and four videos of child pornography from Johnson’s shared files.

A search warrant was executed at Johnson’s residence in Baltimore on April 2, 2010. Johnson admitted to viewing, receiving and distributing child pornography, which he defined as photos or videos of children ages two to 13 being sexually penetrated. Johnson admitted to possessing 5,000 images and 200 videos of child pornography.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov. Details about Maryland’s program are available at www.justice.gov/usao/md/Safe-Childhood/index.html.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI and the Maryland State Police for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kristi O’Malley and Bonnie S. Greenberg, who prosecuted the case.

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