"ICE will continue to work with our state, local and other federal law enforcement partners to vigorously investigate child exploitation cases," said Sue McCormick, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations overseeing Escambia County.
Cybercrime investigators located images of child pornography during a routine online investigation and traced the images back to Johnson's residence. A search warrant was executed at his home in Pensacola where a computer and DVDs were seized to undergo additional forensic analysis. An initial review of seized items revealed multiple images of child pornography, including some images of a child as young as three years old.
Johnson will be booked into the Escambia County Jail and will be charged with 20 counts of possession of child pornography, a third-degree felony which will be enhanced to a second-degree felony under the CyberCrimes Against Children Act of 2007. The agencies involved in today's arrest are all members of the North Florida Internet Crimes against Children Task Force.
The investigation that led to this case was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign-national predators whose crimes make them deportable. Launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 12,800 individuals through Operation Predator. ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.