News

Civilian Employee at Aberdeen Proving Ground Pleads Guilty to Possessing Child Pornography


Defendant Produced 186 Videos and 650 Photos of Unsuspecting, Naked Children and Women Taken From Windows Outside Their Homes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 5, 2011

Baltimore, Maryland - David Earl Jones, age 42, of Jarrettsville, Maryland, a civilian employee at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Edgewood Arsenal, pleaded guilty today to two counts of possessing child pornography.

The guilty plea 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; Harford County Sheriff L. Jesse Bane; and Colonel Terrence Sheridan, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.

According to the plea agreement, on April 15, 2010, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office received an emergency call reporting that a man was seen looking through a window of a Maryland residence and taking pictures of a 15-year old girl who was fully undressed in her bedroom. Police arrived at the scene and, after a brief foot pursuit, arrested Jones. While in custody, Jones was allowed to make a telephone call and was overheard instructing an individual to delete his Facebook account from the computer.

A search warrant was executed at Jones’ workplace and residence. Computers, compact discs and DVDs were recovered from both locations. Three of the compact discs contained 186 videos and 650 photographs of numerous, naked children and women, all in their homes and unaware that they were being filmed.

At least seven minor victims and one adult female victim have been identified from the images that Jones produced. Several additional victims cannot be identified because Jones did not film their faces. All of the identified victims attended the same school, and Jones had what appear to be yearbook photographs of some of these victims on his computer as well. Jones recorded his victims on different dates, sometimes over a period of several years.

One of the victims was a child who was in Jones’ care. Jones videotaped this girl over a period when she was approximately 13 to 17 years old. Jones took at least 61 video images and 156 photographs of the girl, all of which were recovered from a compact disc in Jones’ workplace. Jones would hide in closets and outside windows in order to film the child in various states of undress.

Another image recovered from Jones’ computer media was a video of a 16-year old girl who, in 2008, filed a police report notifying authorities that she saw a flash outside of her bedroom window and believed that she was being filmed.

As part of his plea agreement, Jones must 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).

As part of the plea agreement, Jones and the government have agreed that if the Court accepts the plea agreement Jones will be sentenced to 12 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake has not yet scheduled a date for sentencing.

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, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and the Maryland State Police for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rachel M. Yasser and Judson T. Mihok, who are prosecuting the case.

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