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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 23, 2015

Winchester Man Sentenced On Child Pornography Charges

Justin Katz Possessed And Distributed Child Pornography

HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA – A Winchester, Virginia man who previously pleaded guilty to two charges related to child pornography, was sentenced late yesterday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Harrisonburg.

Justin Katz, 22, of Winchester, Va., previously pled guilty to one count of possession of child pornography and one count of distribution of child pornography. Yesterday in District Court, Katz was sentenced to 96 months of federal incarceration.

“The United States Attorney’s Office, along with our federal and state partners, will continue to prioritize cases involving the exploitation of children,” Acting United States Attorney Anthony P. Giorno said today. “Those dedicated to investigating and prosecuting crimes again children will continue to search out those individuals who traffic in this obscene material and bring them to justice.”

“The possession and distribution of child pornography is not a victimless crime,” said Clark E. Settles, special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Washington, D.C. “Each time a predator like Katz views or shares those images and videos, a child is victimized all over again. Let this sentence be a warning to child predators. We will find you, investigate you and ensure you are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

According to evidence presented at previous hearings by Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth G. Wright, on April 10, 2012, an agent with Homeland Security Investigations, working out of San Diego, Calif., was working in an undercover capacity while browsing the Gnutella network, a large peer-to-peer file sharing network often utilized by child pornographers to trade child pornography.

Through the file sharing feature of the network, the undercover agent was able to download two child pornography video files from an IP address associated with the residence of Mr. Katz in Winchester, Virginia. A search warrant of the defendant’s residence was executed in September 2012. A forensic examination of the defendant’s computer revealed 194 images depicting child pornography, which included 172 images depicting pre-pubescent child pornography, and 202 videos depicting child pornography, which included 100 videos depicting pre-pubescent child pornography.

The investigation of the case was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations with assistance from the Computer Forensic Unit of the Virginia Office of the Attorney General. Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth G. Wright prosecuted the case for the United States.

Updated April 10, 2015