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Press Release

Virginia Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Possession Of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A Virginia Beach man was sentenced to 120 months in prison today, to be followed by 20 years of supervised release for possession of child pornography, announced Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Mark Earle Johnson, 61, pleaded guilty on Aug. 27, before U.S. District Judge Robert J. Krask of the Eastern District of Virginia to one count of possession of child pornography with a prior conviction. U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen imposed the sentence today.

According to court documents, in July 2016, Virginia Beach Police Department officers were alerted to the fact that Johnson was in possession of child pornography, shortly after he was arrested for a violation of probation related to a previous conviction for child pornography in the state of Maryland.  A forensic examination of Johnson’s electronic storage devices confirmed that he had possessed and viewed images of child pornography while living in Virginia Beach, which Johnson admitted to viewing. 

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Virginia Beach Police Department.  Trial Attorney Nadia Prinz of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth M. Yusi of the Eastern District of Virginia prosecuted the case.

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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and 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

Updated November 29, 2018

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 18-1571