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Press Release

Morrisville Man Sentenced to 150 Months in Prison and 20 Years Supervised Release for Posting Child Pornography on Dark Web Chat Room

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

WILMINGTON, N.C. – Eric Werner Johansson, 59, a Morrisville resident was sentenced today to 150 months in prison and 20 years of supervised release for sharing child pornography on dark web chat rooms.  On March 8, 2022, the defendant pled guilty to transportation and possession of child pornography.     

According to court documents and other information presented in court, agents with the Department of Homeland Security discovered a chat room on the dark web dedicated to child pornography.  Using an explicit username, Johansson was observed in the chat room uploading links that connected to images of child pornography.  In addition, Johansson was discussing his sexual arousal of such materials and fantasizing about sexually abusing children. 

The investigation revealed that Homeland Security agents as well as Wake County Sheriff’s Office deputies and the State Bureau of Investigation executed a search warrant at Johansson’s residence on November 4, 2020.  He admitted to viewing child sexual abuse material for a period of ten years.  He admitted he had posted links to child pornography and had discussed his fantasies about sexually abusing children.  Johansson further admitted being sexually aroused by child pornography.

A forensic examination of his digital devices revealed over 1,400 images and 30 videos of child sexual abuse material.  These images and files included depictions of infants and toddlers being sexually abused and sadistic and masochistic conduct.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after the sentencing hearing was concluded.  Chief U.S. District Judge Richard E. Myers II presided over the case.  The Department of Homeland Security, Wake County Sheriff’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation 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 growing 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 (CEOS), 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. 5:21-cr-00389-M-1.


Updated July 29, 2022

Project Safe Childhood