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Garden Valley Man Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charges

SACRAMENTO, CA—United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today that Charles Johnson, 47, of Garden Valley in El Dorado County, pleaded guilty on Tuesday, September 21, 2010 before United States District Judge Edward Garcia to receipt of child pornography.

According to court documents, images of child pornography were found on Johnson’s work laptop after he was terminated for allegedly stealing trade secrets. The computer was returned to the company on July 27, 2007 and the company sent it to a private forensic lab to see if any company trade secrets had been stored improperly on the computer.

During this analysis, the forensic analyst found evidence of child pornography. A forensic review of the laptop showed that a new operating system had been installed on July 21, 2007, with a registered owner of “CJ.” The computer forensic examiner was able to recover earlier file systems, 2,100 of which were images of child pornography, which had been downloaded onto the computer between September 27, 2005 and June 18, 2007. In addition, 80 videos of child pornography were recovered. Web files on the computer showed that Johnson knowingly accessed and utilized numerous pay sites to build his child pornography collection.

Johnson is scheduled to be sentenced on January 21, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. He faces a maximum penalty of twenty years in prison. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

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