Gulfport Man Pleads Guilty to Transporting Images of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct
Gulfport, Miss. – Jesse Allen Nichols, 37, of Gulfport, pled guilty today before Senior U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr. to transporting images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Jere T. Miles, Special Agent in Charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in New Orleans.
“Dealing in sexually explicit videos of children is despicable. I appreciate the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, our Homeland Security agents, trial attorneys from the U.S. Department of Justice, and our prosecutors for putting an end to this criminal’s evil trade. We will continue to work with our government and private sector partners to make sure all these types of deviants are brought to justice,” said U.S. Attorney Hurst.
In February 2018, Nichols transported images of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct to “Dropbox”, on online storage medium, which resulted in the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) issuing a CyberTipline Report to authorities at Homeland Security Investigations containing at least 56 videos of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Further investigation revealed the email and user name of Nichols and it was determined that Nichols’s cell phone was used in transporting the images of the minors.
Nichols was indicted on December 12, 2018. When arrested on the indictment, Nichols admitted to the use of his cellular telephone to access various social media platforms and online storage mediums. He affirmed the use of his cellular telephone and the email identified in the CyberTipline Report, and that through such access on his cellular device he stored images and videos of child pornography.
Nichols will be sentenced by Judge Guirola on November 12, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. in Gulfport. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Jones and Trial Attorney Ralph A. Paradiso with the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.