Cypress Man Gets 25 Years for Multiple Convictions Related to Child Pornography
HOUSTON – A 35-year-old Cypress man has been handed a significant federal prison term for production, distribution and possession of child pornography, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez.
A federal grand jury in the Southern District of Texas (SDTX) indicted Joshua Ray Johnson for production and possession of child pornography. He was also charged with distribution of child pornography in the District of Alaska which was later transferred to the SDTX. He pleaded guilty to all the charges Aug. 9, 2016.
Today, U.S. District Judge Nancy Atlas ordered he serve 300 and 240 months for the production and distribution convictions, respectively. The sentences will run concurrently for a total 300-month-prison term. At the hearing today, the father of the victim appeared in court and stated that no parent should have to go through what he has. In handing down the sentence, Judge Atlas stated that what Johnson did was abhorrent and deplorable. Johnson will be on supervised release for life following completion of his prison term, during which time he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the Internet. He will also be ordered to register as a sex offender.
The investigation began in the District of Alaska where a special agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) was acting in an undercover capacity working to combat online child exploitation. Authorities discovered Johnson took lewd and lascivious photos of a two-year-old female victim and distributed them via the Internet. The images showed her legs spread apart and focused on the toddler’s genitalia.
Based on the images received in Alaska, a search warrant was executed locally and the victim was identified. In addition to the 70 images of the victim that Johnson produced, there were more than 2000 images and videos of child pornography. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) identified 22 known series (identified victims) in Johnson’s possession. NCMEC also indicated other law enforcement agencies in investigations around the world have seen the images Johnson produced. The victim in this case is now the subject of a particular series as identified by NCMEC.
Johnson will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
HSI in Alaska and Houston conducted the investigation.
This case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherri L. Zack, 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 www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."