News and Press Releases

minister pleads guilty to child pornography charge

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2014

RALEIGH – United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court today TIMOTHY JACK STRICKLAND, 42, of Mount Olive, North Carolina, pled guilty before United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle to being in receipt of child pornography, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252(a)(2). A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on February 18, 2014.  

According to the investigation, in March, 2013, while attending training, a Federal Bureau of Investigation Task Force Officer engaged in a chat with STRICKLAND, who it was determined later, was a Pentecostal minister.  During the chat the agent observed that STRICKLAND’s directory contained child pornography files.  A search warrant was later executed at STRICKLAND’s home, where a laptop, several hard drives and other media devices were seized.  Computer forensics revealed approximately 11,000 images of child pornography.   

At sentencing, set for August 18, 2014, STRICKLAND faces up to 20 years imprisonment.  If it is determined that he has had prior convictions related to sexual abuse, abusive sexual conduct with a minor, or an offense related to child pornography or sex trafficking of children, he faces up to 40 years imprisonment.

The criminal investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Ethan A. Ontjes is handling the prosecution on behalf of the Eastern District of North Carolina.

This case was part of the Project Safe Childhood initiative, a national program aimed at ensuring that criminals exploiting children are effectively prosecuted by making full use of all available law enforcement resources at every level.  For more information about this important national project, Project Safe Childhood, go to www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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