Former NMMI Cadet from California Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Pornography Charge in New Mexico
Plea Agreement Requires Imposition of 10 Year Prison Sentence Followed by 15 Years of Supervised Release – Prosecution Brought under Project Safe Childhood
ALBUQUERQUE – Joshua Adam Williams, 20, of Lakeside, Calif., entered a guilty plea today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to a possession of child pornography charge. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Williams will be sentenced to ten years in prison followed by a 15-year term of supervised release. He will be required to register as a sex offender after completing his prison sentence.
Williams’ guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, Special Agent in Charge Terry Wade of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division and New Mexico State Police Chief Pete N. Kassetas.
Williams was arrested on Nov. 4, 2015, in Lakeside, Calif., on a criminal complaint alleging child pornography charges that was filed on Oct. 27, 2015, in federal court in Las Cruces. He was transferred from California to Las Cruces on Dec. 11, 2015, to face the charges against him.
The criminal complaint charged Williams with distribution, possession and attempted production of videos and images depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. It alleged that Williams committed these crimes in May 2015 in Roswell, N.M., when he was enrolled as a cadet at the New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI).
Court filings reveal that the investigation into Williams began in Aug. 2014, when a father and minor child disclosed to the FBI that the child had been self-producing child pornography and sharing it with others through an internet chat room. The father surrendered the child’s cellular phone to the FBI and the FBI found it to contain alleged child pornography that had been shared with a specific account identified by a particular username.
Subsequent investigation revealed that Williams, who was then a NMMI cadet, was the subscriber to aforementioned account and search warrants were obtained for Williams’ computers, cellphone and other digital media. Forensic examinations of Williams’ computer and cellphone revealed that they contained videos and images consistent with child pornography.
During today’s proceedings, Williams pled guilty to a felony information charging him with possession of child pornography. In his plea agreement, Williams admitted that on May 5, 2015, he possessed a computer and cellular telephone that contained videos and images of child pornography. The plea agreement states that Williams’ computer contained a video of a toddler being sexually molested by an adult and his cellular phone contained approximately 100 videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Williams remains in custody pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled. In his plea agreement, Williams agreed to pay $210,012 in restitution to any victim associated with the charges identified in the criminal complaint who requests restitution prior to the sentencing hearing.
This case was investigated by the Roswell office of the FBI, New Mexico State Police, New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force and the New Mexico Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory with assistance from the FBI in San Diego, Calif., and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa A. Lizarraga of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office is prosecuting the case as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and DOJ’s Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/.
The case also was brought as a part of the New Mexico ICAC Task Force’s mission, which is to locate, track, and capture Internet child sexual predators and Internet child pornographers in New Mexico. There are 82 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies associated with the New Mexico ICAC Task Force, which is funded by a grant administered by the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General. Anyone with information relating to suspected child predators and suspected child abuse is encouraged to contact federal or local law enforcement.