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Press Release

Ashland Man Sentenced to 20 Years for Distribution and Possession of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky

ASHLAND, Ky. An Ashland man, Adam Fonso Childers, 71, was sentenced on Monday to 20 years in prison by U.S. District Judge David Bunning for distributing and possessing child pornography.

The evidence presented at trial established that, between October 5-6, 2020, Childers was found to have distributed multiple files of child pornography, using a peer-to-peer file sharing network.  A search warrant was then obtained and revealed that, over a period of decades, Childers had acquired multiple forms of media found to contain child pornography.  This media included magazines he acquired in the 1970s, binders of printed materials, multiple disks, seven external hard drives, and a desktop computer.  In total, Childers possessed hundreds of thousands of images and videos of child pornography, that included depictions of minors under the age of 12 engaged in sexually explicit activity.  He was also identified as being one of the top ten individuals for sharing child pornography in Kentucky, via this particular file sharing program.

A federal jury sitting in Ashland convicted Childers in January 2023.

“This case involved an enormous amount of child sexual abuse material, collected over many years, and involved countless victims,” said Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky.  “Protecting our children from this despicable sexual abuse is a core priority for our office and is essential to the safety of our communities.  I want to commend our law enforcement partners, whose dedicated and difficult work made this prosecution and sentence possible – and made our children safer.”

“The exploitation of innocent children is one of the most heinous crimes the FBI investigates,” said Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Louisville Field Office. “Today’s sentence reinforces that the FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to aggressively pursue those who prey upon our most vulnerable victims and will stop at nothing to hold them accountable.”      

Under federal law, Childers must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence and will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for life.  He was also ordered to pay more than $175,000 in restitution and financial assessments.

U.S. Attorney Shier; FBI Special Agent in Charge Cohen; Col. Phillip Burnett, Commissioner, Kentucky State Police; and Chief W. Todd Kelley, Ashland Police Department, jointly announced the sentence.

The investigation was conducted by FBI, KSP, and the Ashland Police Department.  The United States was represented in the case by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Erin Roth and Mary Melton.

This case was prosecuted 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 the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (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



CONTACT:  Gabrielle Dudgeon

PHONE: (859) 685-4887


Updated August 14, 2023

Project Safe Childhood