News and Press Releases

Reno Man Charged with Child Pornography Crimes

August 18, 2005

Reno, Nev. - A man was indicted by the Federal Grand Jury yesterday on charges that he possessed child pornography and used the internet to attempt to persuade a minor to engage in sexual activity, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

SEAN C. JOHNSON, age 25, a resident of Reno, is charged with one count of Possession of Child Pornography, one count of Coercion and Enticement of a Minor, and Criminal Forfeiture Upon Conviction. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the Possession charge, and a minimum of five years but not more than 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the Coercion and Enticement charge.

The Indictment alleges that on June 13, 2005, SEAN C. JOHNSON knowingly possessed computer hard drives, disks, storage media, and other materials that contained more than three images of child pornography that had been mailed, shipped, or transported in interstate or foreign commerce, including by computer. It also alleges that between June 8 and June 13, 2005, JOHNSON used the internet and cellular telephone communications to attempt to knowingly persuade, induce, and entice a minor to engage in sexual activity. The "minor" in this case was really an undercover officer with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which is comprised of Washoe County Sheriff's Office Detectives and Special Agents with the FBI and United States Immigrations and Customs Enforcement .

Prosecuting crimes against the exploitable is a top prosecution priority for the United States Attorney's Office in the District of Nevada. Since 2002, the U.S. Attorney's Office has experienced a significant increase in referrals of cases involving child pornography. Between January 1, 2002, and June 30, 2005, 111 defendants were charged in the District of Nevada with crimes ranging from receipt and possession of child pornography, interstate travel with intent to engage in a sexual act with a juvenile, and using a computer to entice a juvenile to have sex. Many of those charged have been convicted and sentenced to significant periods of imprisonment.

An arrest warrant was issued for JOHNSON. An initial appearance and arraignment and plea hearing will be scheduled before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the near future.

The case is being investigated by Detectives with the Washoe County Sheriff's Office and Special Agents with the FBI, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Paul L. Pugliese.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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