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Press Release

Federal Judge Sentences McDowell County Man To 30 Years For Production of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Jonathan Leslie Carver, 27, of Nebo, N.C., was sentenced to 360 months in federal prison today for the production of child pornography, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Carver’s prison sentence will be followed by a lifetime of supervised release and he will also be required to register as a sex offender.

Ronnie Martinez, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in North Carolina and South Carolina, and Sheriff Ricky T. Buchanan of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.

“Carver harmed a child for his sexual gratification and shared the abuse online,” said U.S. Attorney King. “I commend our law enforcement partners for their thorough investigation of this case. The evidence gathered helped put this predator behind bars where he belongs.”

“Stopping those who prey on the innocence of children is one of the most important missions HSI has,” said Special Agent in Charge Martinez. “Whenever one of these images is shared or viewed it victimizes an innocent child all over again. We will continue to focus the full resources of HSI on investigating and holding accountable those who engage in this type of horrific activity.”

“Another successful collaborative effort with our federal partners bringing a child predator to justice,” stated Sheriff Buchanan. “We should always do all we can to protect our children and keep them safe.”

On September 1, 2021, Carver pleaded guilty to using a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of the conduct. According to court records, in November 2020, HSI was notified that an individual with the screen name “Johnnybegood115,” later identified as Carver, was using the Kik social media messaging application to create and distribute child pornography. In December 2020, law enforcement issued a search warrant for Carver’s Kik account. A forensic analysis of the information obtained revealed that Carver had produced images and videos of himself sexually abusing an infant and used his Kik account to distribute the child pornography online.

The case was investigated by HSI and the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office.

Assistant United States Attorney Alexis Solheim of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville prosecuted the case.

This case was 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 March 31, 2022

Project Safe Childhood