Former Santa Claus & Magician for Kids' Parties Sentenced for the Manufacturing of Child Pornography
WILMINGTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina announced that today in federal court, Senior United States District Judge James C. Fox, sentenced LEANDER DEWEY JONES, 65, of Raleigh, to 360 months imprisonment followed by a lifetime of supervised release.
JONES, who was employed as a Santa Claus and magician for kids’ parties, was discovered producing Child Pornography (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, examination of CDs and floppy discs seized, revealed approximately 1,000 images of CP.
On May 9, 2016, JONES pled guilty to one count of the Manufacture of Child Pornography.
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.