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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Federal Jury Finds Charlotte Man Guilty Of Possession, Receipt And Transportation Of Child Pornography

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A federal jury sitting in Charlotte convicted Jose Antonio Hendricks, 59, of Charlotte, of possession, receipt and transportation of child pornography following a two-day trial, announced R. Andrew Murray U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.  U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad, Jr. presided over the trial.

John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division joins U.S. Attorney Murray in making today’s announcement.

“Child predators often seek shelter in the anonymity the internet offers to exploit and harm innocent children.  This is a global epidemic that we must confront with an aggressive, technology-driven response,” said U.S. Attorney Murray.  “Today’s guilty verdict sends a message that the internet is no longer a safe haven for those who engage in child sexual exploitation.  Online predators will be located, prosecuted and ultimately removed from society and away from vulnerable children.”

According filed court documents, trial evidence and witness testimony, on October 14, 2014, law enforcement became aware that an individual, later identified as Hendricks, was using a peer-to-peer network to view and to trade child pornography online.  Trial evidence established that between October 2014 and February 2015, law enforcement connected to the IP address, later identified as Hendricks’, approximately 70 times.  During a vast majority of these sessions, law enforcement were able to confirm that Hendricks was sharing either child pornography or child erotica.

According to evidence presented at trial, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Hendrick’s residence on March 12, 2015, seizing a tablet and the tablet’s SD card.  A forensic examination of the devices revealed that they contained numerous images of child pornography.  There was also evidence that Hendricks was accessing numerous child pornography websites that include sadistic or masochistic images of children.  

The charges for transportation of child pornography and receipt of child pornography carry a minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison.  The charges for possessing and accessing child pornography carry a maximum sentence of 20 years.  A sentencing date has not been set.

The FBI’s Crimes Against Children Squad investigated the case.   Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cortney Randall and William Stetzer of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte are in charge of the prosecution.

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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Updated February 21, 2018