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Press Release

Lackawanna County Man Sentenced To Five Years’ Imprisonment For Receipt And Distribution Of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Zachary Watkins, age 21, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, was sentenced on February 9, 2022, by U.S. District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion, to five years’ imprisonment to be followed by five years of supervised release for receipt and distribution of child pornography.

According to United States Attorney John C. Gurganus, Watkins previously pleaded guilty and admitted to receiving and distributing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. 

This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Scranton Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. O’Hara prosecuted the case.

This case was prosecuted 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 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  For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click the tab on “resources.”

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Updated February 10, 2022

Project Safe Childhood