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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of West Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 22, 2020

Project Safe Childhood: Two Appear in Federal Court on Child Pornography Crimes

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Two men appeared in federal court today for child pornography crimes, according to United States Attorney Mike Stuart.

“Egregious and despicable crimes.  I have absolutely no tolerance for child predators. Zero,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “There is no greater priority for me than protecting our children.”

Jeremiah Taylor, 32, of Huntington, pled guilty to distribution of child pornography. He admitted that in January 2019, he utilized the mobile messaging application Kik to send several graphic videos of child pornography to an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent. These videos depicted nude prepubescent children engaged in sexual conduct, including sadistic or masochistic conduct. Taylor also admitted that he asked the undercover agent for photos of the agent’s 9-year-old daughter naked in sexually-explicit poses. On Kik, Taylor was an active member of a group focused on taboo interests, wherein users frequently shared images and videos of child pornography. Taylor’s Kik username was “58ThatDude58” – 58 is the number Taylor wore while playing football for Marshall University from 2010 to 2013. He faces at least five years and up to 20 years in prison when sentenced on September 28, 2020 in Huntington. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted the investigation. United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Kristin F. Scott is handling the prosecution.

Michael Reece Johnson, Jr., 50, of Arkansas, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for possession of child pornography while in Raleigh County. Following release from prison, Johnson will be placed on a 10-year term of supervised release and must register as a sex offender. Johnson previously admitted that on August 15, 2019, he picked up a 13-year-old female from her residence in Kentucky after communicating with her via Facebook. After picking up the minor, he traveled with her from Kentucky to Beckley. During the travel and in Beckley Johnson engaged in sexual activity with the minor. He also possessed several images of child pornography depicting the minor. Johnson also took a sexually explicit photograph of the minor using his cellphone. The United States Secret Service, the Shepherdsville (KY) Police Department, the Homeland Security Investigations and the West Virginia State Police conducted the investigation. United States District Judge Frank W. Volk imposed the sentence. Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Rada Herrald handled the prosecution.

These cases are being prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative of the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s 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 those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

 

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated June 22, 2020