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Press Release

Former Bank Executive Guilty of Receiving Child Porn on Dark Web

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

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – An Arlington man pleaded guilty today to knowingly receiving child pornography on the dark web.

According to court documents, Jon T. Wilkins, 39, a former commercial bank executive, used computers at his residence in Arlington to access the dark web in order to visit an illicit website, Playpen, which catered to the advertisement, distribution, and receipt of child pornography. While on the website, Wilkins created an alias “cowboy357m” and browsed dozens of threads featuring minor children being sexually abused. Wilkins downloaded some of the abusive content to electronic media connected to his computer, and hundreds of images of child pornography and child erotica were found on his computers. Wilkins attempted to conceal his illegal behavior by utilizing Tor, a special web browser that permits access to the dark web while hiding browsing activity. Nonetheless, Wilkins’ conduct was discovered by federal agents who were investigating illegal activity on Playpen.

Wilkins pleaded guilty to knowingly receiving child pornography and faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and a maximum term of 20 years in prison when sentenced on April 5, 2019. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

This matter was investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force which is composed of FBI Agents, along with Detectives from the Fairfax County Police, Arlington County Police, Prince William County Police, Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, Leesburg Police, Alexandria City Police, Washington Metropolitan Police, Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office, George Mason University Police, the United States Marshal’s Service and Agents of various Office of Inspector Generals. The task force was further aided by the FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children Section’s Major Case Coordination Unit.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, 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 U.S. Attorney’s 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 www.justice.gov/psc.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Matthew J. DeSarno, Special Agent in Charge of the Criminal Division at the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nathaniel Smith III and Alexander P. Berrang are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:18-cr-189.

Contact

Joshua Stueve
Director of Communications
joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov

Updated December 17, 2018

Topic
Project Safe Childhood