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Friday, June 12, 2009

Department of Justice

United States Attorney James R. Dedrick Eastern District of Tennessee


JOSEPH WAYNE JENNINGS ARRESTED AT MORRISTOWN HOTEL

[GREENEVILLE, TN] Joseph Wayne Jennings, 53, of New Tazewell, Tennessee, was arrested on Wednesday, June 10, 2009, at the Holiday Inn located at 5435 Davy Crockett Parkway in Morristown, Tennessee. Jennings, an educator who is retired from the Claiborne County Board of Education, was a principal at Clairfield Elementary School and a teacher at the Renaissance School. After his retirement, he worked as a teacher for the Cherokee-Douglas Economic Authority and worked part-time for Toys R Us during the Christmas 2008 season.

In a four-count complaint presented by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent Sandra Farrow, Jennings is charged with the attempted inducement of a minor for sexual purposes using a means of interstate commerce; the attempted production of child pornography; the distribution of child pornography; and, the possession of child pornography. Jennings was arrested pursuant to an arrest warrant signed by United States Magistrate Judge Dennis Inman when Jennings arrived at the motel for the purpose of meeting what he thought was a single mother and her eight-year-old daughter for sexual purposes.

Jennings was arraigned on Thursday, June 11, 2009, at the James H. Quillen U.S. Courthouse. His preliminary hearing and detention hearing are scheduled for Monday, June 15, 2009 at 2:30 p.m. The Federal Defender Services of Eastern Tennessee was appointed to represent Jennings, who was ordered into temporary detention pending the hearing.

The investigation is the result of cooperation of the Knoxville Police Department Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce, the Morristown Police Department, and the FBI. The Winchester, Tennessee Police Department assisted in the arrest.

The public is reminded that a complaint and arrest constitute only charges and that every person is presumed innocent until guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. For further information, contact U.S. Attorney James R. "Russ" Dedrick at 865-545-4167; Sharry Dedman-Beard at 865-545-4167; or Assistant U.S. Attorney Helen Smith at 423-823-5020.

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