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Child Exploitation

Virginia man sentenced to 5 years in federal prison for receiving child pornography over the Internet

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Virginia man was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison and 15 years of supervised release Monday for receiving child pornography over the Internet. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender and forfeit his computer media. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

According to court documents, a Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent identified an Internet protocol (IP) address that was sharing files depicting child pornography. The IP address belonged to a Jacksonville residence where Peter Joshua Johns, 21, of Norfolk, Va., had previously resided in a camper trailer. On April 18, 2011, law enforcement officers executed a federal search warrant at that residence and discovered a laptop computer that belonged to Johns.

Later that day, agents located and interviewed Johns. During the interview, Johns stated that he lived in a camper trailer at the residence in July 2010, and then again, from Thanksgiving 2010 to April 2011. Johns admitted, among other things, to using certain terms and specific ages to search for child pornography using an Internet file sharing program. He stated that after watching the videos, he realized that what he was doing was wrong and deleted the files. Subsequent forensic analysis of his laptop computer recovered at least 13 videos and five images depicting children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

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.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.