A local man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for distributing child pornography, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's office in the Northern District of Georgia.
Chief U.S. District Judge Julie E. Carnes sentenced Johnny Lee Cole to 15 years and 8 months in prison today. Cole is a previously convicted sex offender who possessed and distributed child pornography, according to the release, which said Cole was from Stone Mountain, but did not provide location details.
“The damage done to our community by the distribution of child pornography is incalculable,” said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates in the release. “Children are victimized when the images and videos are produced, and are victimized repeatedly each time the images are distributed to others. This case reflects our effort to break that vicious cycle of victimization.”
Also quoted in the release was Brock D. Nicholson, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Atlanta: “As a convicted sex offender, Mr. Cole has already demonstrated that he poses a threat to the most vulnerable members of our communities, our children. Thanks to the hard work and determination of HSI special agents and prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, that threat has now been removed.”
The release also states:
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: During an undercover child pornography investigation which began in November 2011, an ICE/HSI special agent made contact with Cole using a publicly available peer-to-peer computer network. During the investigation, on two separate occasions, Cole made available to the special agent numerous images and a video of child pornography. In a subsequent search of Cole’s home, law enforcement recovered Cole’s computer, which contained additional images and videos of child pornography.
In 2003, in the Superior Court of DeKalb County, Georgia, Cole was convicted of enticing a child for indecent purposes.
This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and to identify and rescue victims.
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the DeKalb County Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Brent Alan Gray prosecuted the case.