Abita Springs Man, Jonathan Johnson, Charged With Operating International Child Exploitation Enterprise
U.S. Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite, Jr. announces the recent unsealing of a bill of information charging JONATHAN JOHNSON, age 27, of Abita Springs with Operating a Child Exploitation Enterprise in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252A(g).
According to court documents, from 2012 through 2013, JOHNSON administered two child pornography websites identified as Website A and Website B out of his Abita Springs, Louisiana home in order to distribute images and videos depicting the sexual victimization of children. JOHNSON’s illegal websites had over 27,000 members located throughout the world. As the administrator of these websites, JOHNSON regulated membership in the websites and created two categories of website users: members and uploaders. JOHNSON required members to register with a user name and password before they could download video files, comment on videos, or exchange private messages. Uploaders had the same privileges as members, but were also permitted to upload sexually explicit material directly to JOHNSON’s websites. JOHNSON’s websites also included tutorials that provided guidance to members and uploaders on ways to communicate with minor boys in order to coerce them into creating sexually explicit videos and JOHNSON’s websites also provided instructions so members and uploaders could avoid detection from law enforcement. JOHNSON frequently utilized and encouraged other members and uploaders to access popular social networking sites in order to search for and locate unsuspecting minor boys for the purpose of having them create sexually explicit videos. JOHNSON and other website members and uploaders created fake female Internet personas in order to initiate online communications with young boys.
During the course of the investigation of JOHNSON, special agents with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service determined JOHNSON’s websites contained approximately 2,000 videos depicting the sexual exploitation of young boys. The case against JOHNSON has resulted in 10 different individuals being charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Orleans. They are:
- DANIEL NOLAN DEVOR, age 39, of Brunswick, Georgia;
- JOHN C. FOSTER, age 44, of Tipp City, Ohio;
- AUNG GAW, a/k/a Michael Gaw, age 25, of Fremont, California;
- SEAN JABBAR, age 32, of Minneapolis, Minnesota;
- CHRISTOPHER JAMIESON, age 30, of Douglasville, Georgia;
- ANDREW J. KORPAL, age 29, of Granger, Indiana;
- NICHOLAS SAINE, age 27, of Seattle, Washington;
- STANLEY ZDON, III, age 27, of Tuckerton, New Jersey;
- CHRISTOPHER SCHWAB, age 25, of New Orleans, Louisiana;
- VITTORIO FRANCESCO GONZALEZ-CASTILLO, age 26, of Tucson, Arizona.
These defendants are charged as follows:
U.S. v. Daniel Nolan Devor, Criminal Docket No. 13-255 “G,” Conspiracy to Produce Child Pornography, Distribution of Child Pornography, and Receipt of Materials Involving the Sexual Exploitation of Minors;
U.S. v. John C. Foster, Criminal Docket No. 13-251 “N,” Conspiracy to Produce Child Pornography, Distribution of Child Pornography, and Receipt of Materials Involving the Sexual Exploitation of Minors;
U.S. v. Aung Gaw, Criminal Docket No. 13-250 “R,” Receipt of Child Pornography;
U.S. v. Sean Jabbar, Criminal Docket No. 13-252 “C,” Receipt of Child Pornography;
U.S. v. Christopher Jamieson, Criminal Docket No. 13-252 “F,” Receipt of Child Pornography;
U.S. v. Andrew J. Korpal, Criminal Docket No. 13-254 “J,” Receipt of Child Pornography;
U.S. v. Nicholas Saine, Criminal Docket No. 13-256 “N,” Receipt of Child Pornography;
U.S. v. Stanley Zdon, III, Criminal Docket No. 13-257 “E,” Conspiracy to Produce Child Pornography;
U.S. v. Christopher Schwab, Criminal Docket No. 13-237 “R,” Production of Child Pornography, Distribution of Child Pornography, and Receipt of Child Pornography;
U.S. v. Vittorio Francesco Gonzalez-Castillo, Criminal Docket No. 14-014 “K,” Conspiracy to Produce Child Pornography.
In addition, this joint investigation has resulted in over twenty-five (25) additional defendants being arrested and charged with various state and federal charges throughout the United States and approximately 160 child victims have been identified and/or rescued by law enforcement officials.
JOHNSON will have an initial appearance on February 24, 2014 to be formerly arraigned on these charges. JOHNSON has been in federal custody since his arrest on June 13, 2013, and he is represented by the Federal Public Defender’s Office.
JOHNSON is facing a mandatory minimum term of incarceration of twenty (20) years to a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. JOHNSON will also be required to register as a sex offender pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.
U.S. Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite, Jr. reiterated that the Superseding Bill of Information is merely an accusation and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was brought 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 United States 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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
This case is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Fraud Unit Chief and Project Safe Childhood Coordinator, Assistant U. S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba.