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Press Release

Former Marine Sentenced to 15 Years for Distributing and Possessing Child Pornography

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

RALEIGH, N.C. – A former marine was sentenced to 180 months in prison followed by 10 years of supervised release for distribution and possession of child pornography.  Jonathon Allen Frew, age 33, pled guilty on August 17, 2023. He was also assessed $10,000 under the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act and $5,000 under the Amy, Vicky and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act.

According to court documents and other information presented in court Frew was investigated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS) after Kik social media reported on five separate occasions one of its users had uploaded child pornography.  Kik made the report to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children who forwarded the report to NCIS after learning the Kik account and IP address used to upload the images were connected to Frew who was an active-duty Marine at the time. 

Results from a Kik search warrant showed on one day Frew uploaded 24 images and videos of child pornography into a chat group.  Pursuant to a search warrant, Frew’s home was searched, and digital devices were seized.  Child pornography was located on his cellular device.  In total Frew possessed approximately 250 images and 30 videos of child pornography.  Frew ultimately admitted to law enforcement that he obtained child pornography and would later upload it to chat groups. Frew’s collection of images and videos included very young children, infants, and toddlers, as well as images depicting sadistic and masochistic conduct. 

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after the sentencing was concluded.  U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III presided over the sentencing.  The United States NCIS investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Charity Wilson prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:22-CR-64-D.

Updated April 17, 2024

Project Safe Childhood