Shreveport Fire Department Dispatcher Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Possession Charge
SHREVEPORT, La. – A dispatcher with the Shreveport Fire Department has pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography, U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today.
Shreveport Fire Department Dispatcher Stephen St. John, 46, of Shreveport, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote to one count of possession of child pornography. According to evidence presented at the guilty plea, law enforcement agents discovered that St. John was a member of a secret internet file posting board that distributed child pornography. His home was searched on September 5, 2013 and several computers, external hard drives, memory cards, DVDs and diskettes were seized. An examination of the seized items revealed pubescent and prepubescent males engaged in explicit sexual activity including 157 images on diskettes.
St. John, who was taken into custody at the hearing, faces up to 10 years in prison, five years to life of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. He also faces forfeiture of the devices used in the crime. A sentencing date of January 30, 2015 was set.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Marshals Service and the Louisiana State Police investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cytheria D. Jernigan is prosecuting the case.
This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a U.S. Department of Justice nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s 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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Homeland Security Investigations/Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) encourage the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at (866) DHS-2ICE. Investigators are available at all hours to answer hotline calls. Tips or other information can also be submitted to ICE online at www.ice.gov/exec/forms/hsi-tips/tips.asp. Tips may be reported anonymously.