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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Sanford Foster Parent Indicted For Child Exploitation Offenses

Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces today that a federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Justin Dwayne Johnson, Sr. (47, Sanford) with 12 counts of production and attempted production of child sexual abuse images and videos and one count of possession of these materials. If convicted on all counts, Johnson faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 15 years, and up 30 years, in federal prison on each count, and a potential life term of supervised release. The indictment also notifies Johnson that the United States intends to forfeit his electronic devices which are alleged to have been used to commit these offenses.

According to court documents, this investigation began in January 2022 after Seminole County Child Protective Services had been alerted that Johnson was secretly recording his foster children. A forensic examination of Johnson’s cellphone revealed several sexually explicit images and videos depicting minor children, including several children under Johnson’s care that had been photographed or video-recorded in Johnson’s home. The FBI has identified at least 12 child victims who were either under his care or to whom he had access in his home. Additionally, Johnson’s cellphone contained numerous visual depictions of other children being sexually abused. 

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Sanford Police Department, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Courtney Richardson-Jones and Ilianys Rivera Miranda.

This is another case 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 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.justice.gov/psc.

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Project Safe Childhood
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Updated March 23, 2022