Former Gonzales District Fire Chief Sentenced to Federal Prison for Child Pornography Convictions
Acting United States Attorney Corey R. Amundson announced that United States District Court Judge Shelly D. Dick sentenced former Gonzales District Fire Chief KRISTOPHER JOHNSON, age 37, of Gonzales, Louisiana, to serve 96 months in federal prison following his conviction for possession and distribution of child pornography. Following his release from imprisonment, JOHNSON will serve a 7-year term of supervised release.
As set forth in JOHNSON’s plea agreement, the investigation began when law enforcement discovered that a Gmail user with several email addresses, including firstname.lastname@example.org, had uploaded images of child pornography into an online photo account. Investigators then traced the user’s Internet Protocol (“IP”) addresses back to JOHNSON’s residence. After executing a search warrant at JOHNSON’s residence, investigators found child pornography on JOHNSON’s cell phone and iPad, including images of children between six and twelve years of age being sexually abused. When interviewed, JOHNSON admitted to going to various websites to view child pornography, trading child pornography via Google, and viewing child pornography that purportedly displayed the child niece of an individual with whom he was corresponding. Investigators further discovered that JOHNSON had texted multiple images of children being sexually abused to another individual via a texting application.
Acting U.S. Attorney Amundson stated, “Online child sexual exploitation investigations and prosecutions are a priority for this office. JOHNSON’s sentence appropriately reflects the seriousness of these crimes and the need to deter others inclined to engage in similar activity. I greatly appreciate the excellent and hard work of the prosecutors and agents who handle these challenging cases.”
“The outcome of this case should serve as a warning to others we will aggressively investigate and bring to justice those who would prey on our most vulnerable population,” said ICE HSI New Orleans Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Thomas M. Annello. “HSI continues working closely with our federal and state partners to ensure we identify and arrest the perpetrators of these vile crimes."
This matter was investigated by U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (DHS-HSI), and the Cyber Crime Unit of the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, with assistance from the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ryan R. Crosswell and Cam T. Le.
These federal charges are part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the U.S. 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 those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “Resources” tab for information about Internet safety education.