Wallingford Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Child Pornography Charge
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that PETER C. JOHNS, 39, of Wallingford, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford to one count of receipt and distribution of child pornography.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on November 24, 2010, a detective assigned to the Richmond (Va.) Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and acting in an undercover capacity logged into a publicly available Internet file sharing program and downloaded several images and videos of child pornography from a shared directory maintained by JOHNS.
On March 25, 2011, JOHNS was arrested at his residence. On that date, law enforcement agents also seized his computer and related components. Forensic analysis of the seized computer and components revealed that JOHNS used the Internet to trade thousands of images and videos of child pornography. Included in his collection of child pornography were images of children under the age of 12 engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and images of children engaging in sadistic or masochistic conduct.
Judge Chatigny has scheduled sentencing for April 4, 2013, at which time JOHNS faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years, a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000.
JOHNS has been released on bond under electronic monitoring by the U.S. Probation Office since shortly after his arrest.
This matter has been investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Connecticut Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The Connecticut State Police and Wallingford Police Department provided assistance to the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sarala V. Nagala.
The Connecticut Child Exploitation Task Force, which is housed at the main FBI office in New Haven, investigates crimes against children occurring over the Internet, and provides computer forensic review services for participating agencies. For more information about the Task Force, or to report child exploitation crimes, please contact the FBI at 203-777-6311.
This prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which is aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
To report cases of child exploitation, please visit www.cybertipline.com.
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