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Press Release

Sparks Man Convicted Of Multiple Child Exploitation Offenses

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

RENO - A federal jury convicted a Nevada man yesterday for sexually exploiting multiple minors, and advertising and distributing child sexual abuse material (CSAM) that he coerced these minors into producing.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, between 2018 and 2021, James Patrick Burns, 55, of Sparks, sexually exploited multiple minors online via Omegle, Snapchat, Tiktok, and Mega.NZ. Burns, a registered sex offender, threatened these minors into producing CSAM and then posted the CSAM on dark web forums. At the time, Burns was the most prolific creator of illegal content on these forums. He victimized over 100 children, many of whom have yet to be identified. Burns’ offenses came to the attention of law enforcement when a mother of one of his victims saw threats on the victim’s phone and reported what she saw to the police.

The jury convicted Burns of eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, eight counts of coercion and enticement of a minor, and one count each of advertising, receiving, distributing, and possessing child pornography. In a separate trial, the jury also convicted Burns of committing specified felony offenses (from the first trial) while required to register as a sex offender.

Burns is scheduled to be sentenced on June 10. He faces a mandatory minimum of at least 25 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Jason M. Frierson for the District of Nevada, and Special Agent in Charge Spencer L. Evans of the FBI Las Vegas Field Office made the announcement.

The FBI-led Northern Nevada Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, which is comprised of detectives and investigators from the Sparks Police Department, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, Nevada Attorney General’s Office, and HSI, investigated the case. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office, HSI Chicago Field Office, and local law enforcement around the country provided substantial assistance.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Andolyn R. Johnson for the District of Nevada and Trial Attorney Rachel L. Rothberg of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section are prosecuting the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Justice Department. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the 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

The FBI Las Vegas Field Office is seeking the help of anyone who may have been victimized by or have knowledge of sexual abuse of children involving James Patrick Burns. If you or a minor dependent has had contact with James Patrick Burns while using Omegle, Snapchat, Tiktok, and Mega.NZ between 2018 and 2021, you’re asked to contact the FBI by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI or at TIPS.FBI.GOV.


Updated March 6, 2024

Project Safe Childhood