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Press Release

Former Pittsburgh Resident Indicted in Project Safe Childhood Case

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

PITTSBURGH, PA- A former resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of transporting, distributing and possessing child pornography, Acting United States Attorney Troy Rivetti announced today.

The four-count Indictment named Justin Hughes, 42, as the sole defendant.

According to the Indictment presented to the court, on or about November 28, 2022, and November 29, 2022, Hughes did knowingly transport and attempt to transport visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct using the internet. On or about December 25, 2022, Hughes also knowingly distributed visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct to another individual outside of this district, using the internet. Further, in February 2023, Hughes knowingly possessed and accessed with intent to view additional visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not less than five and not more than 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000.00, and a term of supervised release of at least five years. However, if the defendant has a prior sex offense conviction under applicable state or federal law, such defendant shall be imprisoned not less than fifteen years nor more than forty years. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Nicole A. Stockey is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case. This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated May 3, 2023

Project Safe Childhood