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April 8, 2021Lexington, KY, United StatesChild Exploitation

HSI Northern Kentucky investigation results in lengthy federal child exploitation sentence

LEXINGTON, Ky. — As the result of a Northern Kentucky Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigation, a Kentucky man was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison on Wednesday for production of child pornography.

The announcement was made on April 7, by the acting U.S. Attorney for the eastern district of Kentucky.

“One of HSI’s top priorities is to protect the public from crimes of victimization,” said Jerry C. Templet, Jr, special agent in charge, HSI Nashville. “Our agents are committed to working with our law enforcement partners to protect children from exploitation by predators involved with the production, distribution and possession of child sexual abuse material. This case is a good example of how HSI uses the latest technology to collect evidence and track the activities of the perpetrators who commit these heinous crimes.”

Johnathan Scott Mason, 27, of Paris, Kentucky, pleaded guilty in January 2021.  According to his plea agreement, in March 2020, law enforcement officers discovered Mason’s activity on the social media application (app), Kik. On this app, Mason expressed a sexual interest in children and said that he had sexually explicit images of minors, which he had produced. Mason admitted that he knew that the visual depictions were produced and transported using the Internet.

HSI was assisted in the investigation by the Kentucky State Police-Electronic Crimes Branch.

Under federal law, Mason must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence. Upon his release from prison, he will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for life.

HSI is a directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

Updated: 04/08/2021