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Press Release

Mercer County Man Gets 8+ Years In Prison For Federal Child Pornography Offense

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Johnny Richard Rowe, of Bluewell, Mercer County, West Virginia, was sentenced today to eight years and a month in prison for a federal child pornography offense, announced U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin.  Rowe, 61, previously pleaded guilty in January to possessing child pornography.  Rowe’s sentence was handed down by Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber. 

An investigation conducted by the West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force revealed that Rowe possessed 728 images and 14 videos of child pornography.  The images depict prepubescent minors and minors engaged in sexual acts.  The child pornography was discovered on Rowe’s computer and on a flash drive located at his residence in Bluewell.  The investigation also revealed that Rowe received and shared child pornography by using a file sharing network that allows users to download files from other people’s computers around the world.    

U.S. Attorney Goodwin stated, “The exploitation of innocent children is a heinous crime.  Child pornography has a highly destructive impact on the most vulnerable segment of society and my office will work diligently to ensure that criminals like Mr. Rowe are prosecuted to the fullest extent.”

The West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department, and the West Virginia State Police conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Lisa Johnston handled the prosecution. 

This case was prosecuted as part of U.S. Attorney Goodwin’s ongoing initiative to combat sexual exploitation and abuse in the Southern District of West Virginia.

Updated January 7, 2015