US ATTORNEY: Johnston man sentenced to federal prison for possessing child pornography


 A Johnston man who admitted to possessing more than 2,000 videos and images of child pornography has been sentenced to three years in federal prison, according to a press release from United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.

“Jon Knowles, 49, admitted to a federal judge in May that he employed a computer software program to download encrypted ‘pieces’ of files used to assemble digital files,” according to Cunha’s office. “In June and August of 2021, Knowles used the software program to download and assemble at least three sexually explicit video files depicting prepubescent females.”

On Nov. 17, 2021, FBI agents conducted a court-authorized search of Knowles’ residence and seized several electronic devices, according to prosecutors.

“A forensic audit of the devices resulted in the discovery of 2,075 videos and 342 images of child pornography,” according to the press release. “Knowles pleaded guilty on May 9 … to a charge of possession of child pornography.”

U.S. District Court Judge Mary S. McElroy sentenced Knowles to 36 months in federal prison, to be followed by 10 years of federal supervised release. Knowles was also ordered to pay a $5,000 special assessment, as required by the Justice for Victims Trafficking Act in child sexual exploitation cases where the Court makes a finding that the defendant is not indigent, according to Cunha’s office.

The matter was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee H. Vilker.


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