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Press Release

Cedar Rapids Man Charged with Attempted Sex Trafficking of a Child and Destruction of Evidence

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa

Joshua Johnson, age 49, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has been charged with attempted sex trafficking of a child and destruction of evidence.  The charges are contained in an Indictment filed on May 9, 2024, in United States District Court in Cedar Rapids. 

The Indictment alleges that, in December 2023, Johnson attempted to recruit, entice, obtain, patronize, and solicit a person he believed to be under 14 to engage in a commercial sex act.  The Indictment also alleges that Johnson destroyed electronic data with the intent to impede, obstruct, and influence the investigation.

If convicted, Johnson faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a $500,000 fine, and at least five years and up to life on supervised release following any imprisonment.

Johnson appeared for a detention hearing on May 20, 2024, in federal court in Cedar Rapids and was held without bond.  Johnson’s next appearance for trial is set for July 15, 2024.

As with any criminal case, a charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark Tremmel and is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

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 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 on the tab “resources.”

Court file information is available at  The case file number is CR 24-38.

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Updated May 28, 2024

Project Safe Childhood