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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Former Navy Sailor Sentenced for Child Pornography

NORFOLK, Va. – A former U.S. Navy sailor, formerly of Norfolk, was sentenced today to 40 months in prison and 20 years of supervised release for possession of child pornography.

According to court documents, Dustin Lee Sharbono, 29, of Kalispell, Montana, downloaded hundreds of images and videos of child pornography prior to a deployment. Sharbono’s criminal activity was revealed when a fellow Sailor discovered Sharbono’s cellular phone misplaced in a common area aboard the ship. The Sailor attempted to identify the phone’s owner, and stumbled upon images of child pornography within the “Kik Messenger” application.  NCIS’ investigation of Sharbono, who was by then at sea, discovered a laptop computer and tablet device in Sharbono’s possession, both containing additional child pornography.

Sharbono attempted to conceal his activity by using an application known as “Hide It Pro,” which stores files in a seemingly benign folder on one’s digital media devices, and disguises itself as an audio manager application. Metadata associated with the Kik application, and other child pornography media in Sharbono’s possession confirmed that he downloaded the images in the weeks leading up to his deployment while his ship was in port in Norfolk.

This case is 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 the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood 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 Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources” for more information about Internet safety education. 

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Cliff Everton, Special Agent in Charge of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney David A. Layne prosecuted 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 is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:17-cr-121.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated May 31, 2018