Clayton Man Sentenced for Receipt of Child Pornography
RALEIGH – United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that today in federal court, Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever, III sentenced JAMIE BROOKS FRANKLIN, 37, of Clayton to 180 months in prison, 10 years of supervised release for the Receipt of Child Pornography (CP). FRANKLIN pled guilty to the charge on January 23, 2018.
On September 19, 2014, Xoom.com, an online international money transfer service, notified Yahoo! that a number of Yahoo! accounts were engaged in the sale of material depicting child exploitation. A Xoom.com Cybertip Report was forwarded to Yahoo!’s Electronic Crimes Investigative Team (ECIT). The ECIT conducted an investigation and observed that several Yahoo! electronic accounts operating in the Philippines were involved in the sale of materials portraying the sexual abuse of minors. Based on the investigation, search warrants were obtained for the seller accounts and executed in February 2015. The search uncovered a chat conversation between a seller and a buyer using an email account later identified to be FRANKLIN’S. They discussed the sale of pictures, videos, and live webcam shows depicting minors engaged in sexual activity. The seller and FRANKLIN exchanged emails as a means of communication. In September 2014, the seller sent FRANKLIN multiple images which depicted the sexual exploitation of minors. The images were provided to FRANKLIN for his consideration when making a purchase. The seller also provided the FRANKLIN with 26 additional images of child pornography which included bestiality.
Agents learned that several of the login IP addresses utilized by FRANKLIN were assigned to Time Warner Cable (TWC). On December 10, 2015, Yahoo! notified the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that the defendant’s account received at least one video depicting child pornography (CP) in November 2015. The video depicted two nude prepubescent females between the ages of 12 and 15 engaged in sexual activity with each other. As the investigation progressed, at least six seller accounts were identified as being associated with and used by FRANKLIN to purchase CP. FRANKLIN received CP from sellers through his email and Dropbox accounts.
A search warrant was obtained and executed at FRANKLIN’S residence on November 9, 2016. Prior to the search, FRANKLIN made an unprotected statement to investigating agents. Specifically, the defendant advised he began viewing CP approximately five years earlier, and he preferred females between the ages of 8 and 9 to adulthood. The defendant acknowledged currently possessing a “couple of hundred” images and videos of CP in his Dropbox account. FRANKLIN also acknowledged utilizing his Yahoo! email and Kik Messenger, an instant messenger application for mobile phones, to locate like-minded individuals and share CP. Once a like-minded individual was located, the defendant and the individual exchanged Dropbox URLs to gain access to each other’s collection of CP. FRANKLIN also acknowledged utilizing Skype, a video chat program, to watch live sex shows with other adults.
The investigation recovered at least 42,610 images of CP, many of which depicted nude prepubescent minors engaged in explicit sexual conduct. Many of the images and videos depicted prepubescent children less than 12 years of age and several of the images and videos portrayed sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence.
Mr. Higdon commented: “Today the Court imposed a 15 year sentence on a defendant who preyed upon numerous of our most vulnerable citizens. Through the collection and distribution of child pornography the defendant victimized our children in the most degrading and base way. The sentence imposed by the court is extremely appropriate and should be a warning to others who would threaten our children in this way. We will seek sentences like this in other cases in our unwavering effort to stop this type of behavior and to protect our children. I want to thank the investigators with the FBI and the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office for their outstanding work.”
The case was investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office. The federal prosecution was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Ethan A. Ontjes.
This case was part of the Project Safe Childhood initiative, a national program aimed at ensuring that criminals exploiting children are effectively prosecuted by making full use of all available law enforcement resources at every level. For more information about this important national project, Project Safe Childhood, go to www.projectsafechildhood.gov.