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Press Release

Virginia Man Sentenced to 97 Months in Prison For Distributing Child Sexual Abuse Material

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant was arrested after traveling to the District of Columbia with the intent to sexually abuse an underaged child

            WASHINGTON – Joseph Arnold, 43, of Chesapeake, Virginia, was sentenced today to  97 months in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release and ordered to pay $67,500 restitution, for distributing child pornography. The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Special Agent in Charge Wayne A. Jacobs, of the FBI Washington Field Office’s Criminal and Cyber Division.

            Arnold pleaded guilty on July 19, 2022, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. According to the government’s evidence, on October 26, 2020, Arnold began communicating with an undercover officer based in the District of Columbia using an online messaging application. Over the next two weeks, Arnold sent the undercover officer multiple videos of child pornography, boasting that he had “hundreds more” such videos, and arranged with the undercover officer to travel to the District of Columbia for the purpose sexually abusing a child. On November 5, 2020, Arnold traveled from Virginia to Washington, D.C. When he arrived, he was arrested by law enforcement.

            This case was investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force. The 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 those engaged in human trafficking. Valuable assistance was provided by the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Prince George’s County, Maryland Police Department.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Graves and Special Agent in Charge Jacobs commended the work of those who investigated the case from the FBI's Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, which includes members of the FBI's Washington Field Office and the Metropolitan Police Department’s (MPD) Youth Investigations Division. They also commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Caroline Burrell and Jocelyn Bond, and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenya Davis, who prosecuted the case.

            This case was brought as part of the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood initiative. In February 2006, the Attorney General created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorney's Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated May 10, 2023

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 23-249