Skip to main content
Press Release

Convicted Sex Offender In Boone, N.C. Is Sentenced To 25 Years For Possession And Distribution Of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina
In Separate Case, Second Boone Man Pleads Guilty to Production of Child Pornography

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Today, U.S. District Judge Kenneth D. Bell sentenced Joshua Wayne Clemons, 40, of Boone, North Carolina, to 25 years in prison on child pornography charges, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.  Clemons was also ordered to pay a $52,000 special assessment fee, to serve a lifetime of supervised release, and to register as a sex offender after he is released from prison.

According to information contained in filed documents and statements made in court, in October 2019, law enforcement determined that an individual later identified as Clemons was using a peer-2-peer network to download and transmit child pornography. In November 2019, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Clemons’ residence and seized numerous computer devices and a cell phone. A forensic review of the seized devices revealed that they contained more than 755 images depicting the sexual abuse of children. On August 11, 2020, Clemons pleaded guilty to possession and distribution and attempted distribution of child pornography. At today’s sentencing hearing, Judge Bell enhanced Clemons’ sentence, based on Clemons’ prior convictions of Indecent Liberties with a Child.

* * *

In a separate case, Frank Darrell Cromwell, 24, of Boone, N.C., has pleaded guilty to production of child pornography. According to plea documents and today’s plea hearing, between December 2018 and February 2019, Cromwell used Snapchat to convince a minor victim that Cromwell was a female, and to communicate with the minor. During the relevant time period, Cromwell admitted to inducing the minor victim to engage in sexually explicit conduct and to send explicit images and videos to Cromwell. The defendant entered his guilty plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge David C. Keesler. At sentencing, Cromwell faces a minimum penalty of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in prison. A sentencing date has not been set.

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Murray commended the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Boone Police Department for their investigation of both cases, and thanked the North Carolina State Bureau of investigation for their invaluable assistance with Cromwell’s investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emily Wasserman and Mark Odulio prosecuted Clemons’ case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cortney Randall and Emily Wasserman, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Spaugh are in charge of Cromwell’s prosecution.

Both cases were 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


Updated February 18, 2021

Project Safe Childhood