District of Columbia Man Sentenced to 27 Months in Prison for Possessing Child Pornography
Man Apprehended Through Use of File-Sharing Software
WASHINGTON – Daniel Gregory Johnston, 43, formerly of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty today to a federal charge of possessing child pornography and was sentenced to 27 months in prison.
The announcement was made by Acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips, Wayne A. Jacobs, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office Criminal Division, and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Johnston’s plea and sentencing took place before the Honorable James E. Boasberg in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Upon completion of his prison term, he will be placed on six years of supervised release. He will also be required to register as a sex offender for 15 years following his release from prison.
According to the government’s evidence, over the course of a few months in the spring of 2018, Johnston used his computer and a file-sharing software program to collect and distribute images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of very young children. Law enforcement, acting in an undercover capacity, were able to connect to Johnston’s computer and download over 200 images and videos containing child sexual abuse material. Some of the victims depicted in these images and videos were as young as five years old.
In June of 2018, law enforcement obtained a search warrant for Johnston’s home. Various digital devices were seized from his home, which were then forensically examined by a computer forensic specialist. Various sexually explicit file names were found on Johnston’s laptop. Other evidence found on the digital devices proved that Johnson downloaded and viewed videos showing children bound with ropes and metal restraints, being sexually assaulted by adult men.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.
In announcing the plea and sentence, U.S. Attorney Phillips, Special Agent in Charge Jacobs, and Chief Contee commended the work of those who investigated the case from the FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force and MPD’s Youth Investigations Division. The FBI task force is composed of FBI agents, along with other federal agents and detectives from northern Virginia and the District of Columbia. The task force is charged with investigating and bringing federal charges against individuals engaged in the exploitation of children and human trafficking.
Acting U.S. Attorney Phillips, Special Agent in Charge Jacobs, and Chief Contee also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Kenny Nguyen. Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy E. Larson, who prosecuted the case.