In Separate Cases, Three Maryland Men Facing Federal Indictment for Sexual Exploitation of Children to Produce Child Pornography and Related Charges
Two of the Defendants are Previously Convicted Sex Offenders
Baltimore, Maryland – Federal grand juries in Maryland have returned indictments against three men in unrelated cases charging them with sexual exploitation of a child to produce child pornography and related charges. Charged in the three indictments are Gary Rocky Jones, age 42, of Baltimore; Dennis James Harrison, age 39, of Rocky Ridge, Maryland; and Jose Alexander Diaz-Rodriguez, age 22, of Thurmont, Maryland.
The indictments were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge James R. Mancuso of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Baltimore Field Office; Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; Chief Jason Lando of the City of Frederick Police Department; Frederick County Sheriff Charles A. “Chuck” Jenkins; and Frederick County State’s Attorney J. Charles Smith, III.
A superseding indictment was returned on February 2, 2022, against previously convicted sex offender Gary Rocky Jones, adding 27 counts of sexual exploitation of a child to produce child pornography, 15 counts of use of an interstate commerce facility, specifically, the internet, to entice a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity—relating to 15 minor victims from around the country, and commission of a felony crime involving a minor by a registered sex offender, to his original charges of distribution and possession of child pornography. The superseding indictment alleges that between 2014 and August 2015, Jones twice produced images and videos of a minor male engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The victim was age 14 to 15 years old during the exploitation. The superseding indictment also alleges that from September 2018 through August 2020, Jones used social media accounts to persuade, entice, and coerce another 15 minor males from several states and ranging in age from eight to 17 years old, to engage in sexually explicit conduct. During these internet-based communications, Jones allegedly caused and attempted to cause the victims to produce live and recorded visual depictions of themselves engaged in sexually explicit conduct, both alone and with others, and send Jones the sexually explicit images and video via the internet. Further, the superseding indictment alleges that on April 2, 2018, Jones distributed child pornography, and possessed child pornography from December 2, 2014 through January 31, 2020, and from May 29, 2017 through July 14, 2020, respectively, in affiliation with two separate email addresses and related storage accounts. Finally, the superseding indictment alleges that between 2015 and September 2020, Jones committed felony offenses involving minors while Jones was required to register as a sex offender under Maryland law.
According to Harrison’s nine-count indictment, which was returned by the Grand Jury on February 3, 2022, Harrison sexually exploited two minor girls beginning when the one victim was two years old and when another victim was 10 to 11 years old, to produce child pornography; coerced and enticed a 12-year-old victim to engage in illegal sexual conduct; possessed child pornography; and committed a felony crime involving a minor while he was a registered sex offender. From at least September 2020 through August 2021, Harrison engaged in sexual activity with Jane Doe 1, a 12-year-old girl who resided in Pennsylvania. The indictment alleges that Harrison picked-up Jane Doe 1 from her residence and drove her to various location in Maryland, including Harrison’s residence, where he engaged in illegal sexual activity with Jane Doe 1. The indictment alleges that Harrison attempted to and did use, persuade, induce, entice, and coerce Jane Doe 1 to engage in sexually explicit conduct in order to produce visual depictions of such conduct. Harrison also allegedly used a hidden camera and a mobile phone in 2018 to produce a series of image files depicting Jane Doe 2, a 10-to-11 year old minor, nude and partially nude in a bedroom and bathroom in Pennsylvania and in a bathroom in Maryland. The images were taken without the knowledge of Jane Doe 2. The indictment alleges that on August 12, 2021, Harrison possessed child pornography on his phone, a tablet, several USB drives, and a micro SD card. Finally, the indictment alleges that Harrison committed these offenses involving a minor while he was required to register as a sex offender under Maryland law.
Finally, Jose Alexander Diaz-Rodriguez is charged in a three-count indictment, returned on February 3, 2022, with sexual exploitation of a child on July 26, 2021, by employing, using, persuading, inducing and coercing a prepubescent minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct, for the purpose of producing visual depictions of such conduct; for distributing child pornography on June 4, 2021; and for possessing visual depictions of prepubescent minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct on July 26, 2021.
If convicted, Jones and Harrison each face a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years and a maximum sentence of 50 years in federal prison for each count of sexual exploitation of a child; a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum of life imprisonment for each count of coercion and enticement of a child; a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum of 20 years in federal prison for possession of child pornography, and a mandatory sentence of 10 years in federal prison for commission of a felony crime involving a minor by a registered sex offender. Jones also faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum of 40 years in federal prison for distribution of child pornography. Diaz-Rodriguez faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years and a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison for sexual exploitation of a child; a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years and a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for distribution of child pornography; and a maximum of 20 years in federal prison for possession of child pornography. 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. Jones is in federal custody and is scheduled for trial on December 5, 2022. Harrison and Diaz-Rodriguez are in custody on state charges and will have an initial appearances in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, although dates for those hearings have not been set.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
These cases were 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 the United States Attorney’s 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.justice.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the “Resources” tab on the left of the page.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the FBI and the Baltimore Police Department for their work in the Jones case which is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul E. Budlow and Paul A Riley. Mr. Barron also recognized the FBI, the City of Frederick Police Department, and the Frederick State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the Diaz-Rodriguez case, and HSI, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, and the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the Harrison investigation and prosecution. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul E. Budlow and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Joyce King, Chief Counsel with the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office, who are prosecuting the Diaz-Rodriguez and Harrison cases.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md/project-safe-childhood and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.
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