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Press Release

Erwin Man Sentenced For 160 Months For Receipt Of Child Pornography

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

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – On November 18, 2021, Justin Claude Richardson, 29, currently of Erwin, TN was sentenced by the Honorable R. Leon Jordan, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville, to serve 160 months in federal prison.  Upon release, Richardson will be supervised by U.S. Probation for 20 years and will be required to register with the state sex offender registry and comply with special sex offender conditions during supervised release.

As part of the plea agreement filed with the court, Richardson agreed to plead guilty to receipt of child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. 2252A(a)(2)(A) and (b)(1).  Additionally, the defendant was ordered to pay restitution to victims making claims, who were identified through the Child Victim Identification Program database operated by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

According to court documents, on May 13, 2019, officers stopped Richardson in Unicoi County, Tennessee, upon suspicion of his involvement in a kidnapping.  Richardson was placed under arrest and his cellular telephone was seized.  Richardson’s cellular telephone contained approximately 2,364 images of child pornography, including images of bestiality, sadomasochistic acts, and infants.  The web browser on the cellular phone reflected hundreds of searches for child pornography, with searches occurring shortly before Richardson’s arrest.

The criminal indictment was the result of an investigation by the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation.  This investigation was led by FBI Special Agent Bianca Pearson.

Assistant United States Attorney J. Gregory Bowman represented the United States.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006, by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about PSC, please visit

For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources.”





Rachelle Barnes
Public Affairs Officer
(865) 545-4167

Updated January 20, 2023

Project Safe Childhood