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Child Exploitation

Virginia man indicted on federal child pornography charges

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Norfolk, Va., man was indicted by a federal grand jury on child pornography charges, following an investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service in Jacksonville and Norfolk, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Peter Joshua Johns, 20, is charged with two counts of receiving child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

On each of the counts, Johns faces a mandatory minimum of not less than five years and up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. On the possession count, Johns faces to up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Johns was arrested on Oct. 3 in Norfolk. He was arraigned Monday in Jacksonville, and his trial is scheduled for Dec.5.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney D. Rodney Brown.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.

The investigation 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.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE and 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 and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.