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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Former Santa Claus & Magician For Kid’s Parties Charged With The Manufacturing Of Child Pornography Pleads Guilty

WILMINGTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina announced that in federal court yesterday, LEANDER DEWEY JONES, 64, of Raleigh, North Carolina, pled guilty before Senior United States District Judge James C. Fox, to one count of manufacturing child pornography (CP).  

JONES, who was employed as a Santa Claus and magician for kids’ parties, was discovered producing CP of his two grandchildren while in his care.  On May 29, 2015, Jones brought his desktop computer in for repair to a store in Raleigh, and while examining the computer hard drive for viruses and malware, a computer technician located a folder containing CP.  He alerted the store owner who in turn contacted the Raleigh Police Department regarding the CP. 

A state search warrant was obtained and a subsequent computer forensics examination of items seized from JONES   revealed approximately 4,000 images of CP on the computer and external hard drives.  Further, on the CDs and floppy discs, revealed approximately 1,000 images of CP.

At sentencing, scheduled for the court’s August 1, 2016 term, JONES faces up to 30 years imprisonment.

The criminal investigation of this case was conducted by the Raleigh Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Ethan A. Ontjes is handling the prosecution on behalf of the Eastern District of North Carolina.

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.

Updated May 10, 2016