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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Suffolk Man Sentenced to Prison for Child Pornography

NORFOLK, Va. – A Suffolk man was sentenced today to 12 years in prison and 20 years of supervised release for receiving images of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

According to court documents, Christopher Howerton, 33, was identified by both the Virginia Beach Police Department and Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force as having distributed images of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct (SEC) from 2016 through 2017 via peer-to-peer file-sharing software. In December 2017, a federal search warrant was conducted at his residence in Suffolk. A forensic analysis of Howerton’s electronic media seized during the search warrant revealed numerous images and videos of minors engaging in SEC.

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 Michael K. Lamonea, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Norfolk, made the announcement after sentencing by Chief U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth M. Yusi 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. 2:18-cr-51.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated November 14, 2018