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Press Release

Jacksonville Man Sentenced for Distribution and Possession of Child Pornography

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

NEW BERN – The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that, ERIC ELWIN LEVAN, 36, of Jacksonville, was sentenced by United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan for distribution and possession of child pornography.  Judge Flanagan sentenced LEVAN to 140 months imprisonment followed by 20 years of supervised release. 

LEVAN was charged in a two-count indictment on June 22, 2017 and pled guilty on March 14, 2018. 

In November of 2016, the Department of Homeland Security conducted an undercover investigation on a Russian-based file-sharing website known to be frequented by people interested in child pornography.  An agent, using an undercover website profile, advertised an interest in child pornography and published contact information on an instant-messaging service.  An individual, later identified as LEVAN, contacted the undercover agent, and began discussing an interest in child pornography and a desire for sexual contact with minor children.  On November 30, 2016, LEVAN sent the agent an internet link to a child pornography video.   Agents identified LEVAN as the account holder and on December 13, 2016, executed a search warrant on LEVAN’s Jacksonville residence.  Law enforcement seized LEVAN’s computer and other digital devices.  Agents also obtained and executed a search warrant for an online digital storage account in LEVAN’S name.  The forensic examination of the devices and online account uncovered over 100 images and 150 videos of child pornography.

Mr. Higdon commented: “We are gratified by the sentence the court imposed today.  Protection of our children and the punishment of those who exploit children is a high priority for the Department of Justice.  And, the facts of this case are a reminder to anyone who might engage in this type of criminal activity that you may just be dealing with an undercover officer and find yourself in a federal courtroom and deprived of your freedom and liberty too!”   

This case was part of the Project Safe Childhood (PSC) 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

The Department of Homeland Security conducted the criminal investigation of this case.  Assistant United States Attorney Jake D. Pugh handled the prosecution of this case for the United States.

Updated August 7, 2018

Project Safe Childhood