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Press Release

Minnesota Fugitive Living In Rutherford County Is Sentenced To 15 Years For Transportation Of Child Pornography

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

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – John Wayne Drysdale, 69, of Minneapolis, M.N., has been sentenced to 180 months in prison for transportation of child pornography, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Chief U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger also ordered Drysdale to serve a lifetime of supervised release and to register as a sex offender after he is released from prison.

Ronnie Martinez, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in North Carolina and South Carolina, and Chris Edge, Acting United States Marshal of the United States Marshals Service (USMS) for the Western District of North Carolina, join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.

According to court documents and statements made in court during yesterday’s hearing, on December 11, 2020, the USMS in Minneapolis contacted USMS in Asheville regarding Drysdale, who they believed to be in Forest City in Rutherford County. Drysdale had been convicted of possession and receipt of child pornography in Minnesota and was on supervised release after serving his federal sentence. Court records show that, while on supervised release, Drysdale removed his electronic monitoring device and travelled to North Carolina. The Asheville USMS and the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office were able to locate Drysdale at a residence in Forest City and Drysdale was taken into custody.

According to court records, the day law enforcement arrested Drysdale HSI special agents seized his electronic devices. HSI computer forensic analysts conducted an analysis of the seized devices and located images containing child pornography, URL links to websites hosting child pornography, and websites known to serve as chat forums for pedophiles and recovered evidence that Drysdale had begun to access the dark web.

On August 30, 2021, Drysdale pleaded guilty to transportation of child pornography. He is currently in federal prison and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney King commended HSI and the U.S. Marshals Service for their investigation of the case and thanked the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Probation Office for the District of Minnesota for their invaluable assistance.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexis Solheim, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville prosecuted the case, 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 4, 2022

Project Safe Childhood