August 6, 2010
A Bedford man accused of multiple charges related to transporting, receiving and possessing child pornography, pleaded guilty Thursday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, announced United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy and Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division Lanny A. Breuer.
John Michael Carter, 41, was indicted in January and charged with four counts related to his child pornography activities. Thursday in District Court, he pleaded guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography, one count of transportation of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.
“The Justice Department has made the prosecution of those who distribute child pornography a top priority,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said. “Men like Mr. Carter steal the innocence of children with their disgusting and disturbing behavior."
Carter admitted to being a member of two online bulletin boards dedicated to the trading of child pornography. After being identified by authorities, Carter admitted to viewing child pornography on his computer, including still pictures and movies that featured young girls having sex with adult males.
Forensic examination of Carter’s computer revealed the presence of both search terms associated with child pornography websites and files containing images of child pornography.
Carter faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for transporting and receiving child pornography and a maximum of 10 years in prison for possessing child pornography. The Defendant also faces mandatory five year minimum sentences for the transportation and receipt charges. He also faces forfeiture of all seized property up to a $250,000 fine and the possibility of a lifetime period of supervised release.
Carter was identified through “Operation Joint Hammer,” the U.S. component of an ongoing global enforcement operation targeting transnational rings of child pornographers.