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Child Exploitation
09/07/2012

Sex offender sentenced to 15 years for child pornography

ATLANTA - A Stone Mountain, Ga., man was sentenced to 15 years in prison Thursday for possession and distribution of child pornography. The investigation leading to this sentence was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the DeKalb County Police Department.

Johnny Lee Cole, 43, is a convicted sex offender who was previously found guilty of enticing a child for indecent purposes.

"The damage done to our community by the distribution of child pornography is incalculable," said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. "Children are victimized when the images and videos are produced, and are victimized repeatedly each time the images are distributed to others. This case reflects our effort to break that vicious cycle of victimization."

"As a convicted sex offender, Mr. Cole has already demonstrated that he poses a threat to the most vulnerable members of our communities, our children," said Brock D. Nicholson, special agent in charge of HSI Atlanta. "Thanks to the hard work and determination of HSI special agents and prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia, that threat has now been removed."

According to information presented in court: During an undercover child pornography investigation which began in November 2011, an HSI special agent made contact with Cole using a publicly available peer-to-peer computer network. During the investigation, on two separate occasions, Cole made available to the special agent numerous images and a video of child pornography. In a subsequent search of Cole's home, law enforcement recovered Cole's computer, which contained additional images and videos of child pornography.

In 2003, in the Superior Court of DeKalb County, Ga., Cole was convicted of enticing a child for indecent purposes.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.