Shasta County Man Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison for Child Pornography Offenses
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — On Friday, U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. sentenced James Jay Hitt, 51, of Anderson, to 40 years in prison for distribution and receipt of child pornography, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to evidence presented at trial, Hitt interacted with a 12-person network of child pornographers, managed a blog where he posted child pornography, and messaged people through a Russian website that served as a platform for child pornographers to trade and discuss child pornography. Based on a lead from the FBI in Ohio, investigators in California searched Hitt’s house on January 4, 2013. When they entered his house to conduct the search, he brandished a knife at them. They found over 4,000 images and dozens of videos of child pornography on a desktop computer, an 80 gigabyte internal hard drive, and several CDs. Hitt has been in custody since June 15, 2015. Hitt had a prior conviction for a crime relating to sexual abuse that enhanced his sentence.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Anderson Police Department, and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Roger Yang and Michael M. Beckwith prosecuted the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about internet safety education.