NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A Northshore man has been charged with operating a pair of child pornography websites that offered tutorials to 27,000 followers on coaxing young boys into producing sexually explicit videos.
Federal prosecutors said Jonathan Johnson, 27, was the architect of a digital child exploitation enterprise that routinely preyed upon young boys, producing and distributing pornographic videos of minors and coaching others on strategies to coerce underage boys into participating in sexual acts.
The grand jury charged Johnson with distribution and receipt of child pornography.
Our partners at NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune report that Johnson's case was unsealed this week, along with a superseding indictment that suggests he might be cooperating with prosecutors. He faces arraignment Monday.
Johnson's federal public defender, Samuel Scillitani, could not be reached for comment Thursday. If convicted, Johnson faces a minimum of 20 years to life in prison.
According to newly unsealed court records, a grand jury accused Johnson of frequently encouraging viewers of the websites to search for, locate and entice young boys into creating sexually explicit videos by tapping into social networking sites and sometimes impersonating females online to initiate conversation. Investigators said they discovered more than 2,000 explicit images of young boys on the sites and have so far identified about 160 of them.
Johnson's sites let some members upload and share sexually explicit material, according to court documents. He provided instructions so members and "uploaders" - those authorized to create and share content - could circumvent detection by law enforcement, prosecutors said. The videos were uploaded to the sites without the boys' knowledge.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said the case against Johnson has led to 25 arrests.
Ten defendants are being prosecuted by federal prosecutors in New Orleans: Daniel Nolan Devor, 39, of Brunswick, Ga.; John C. Foster, 44, of Tipp City, Ohio; Aung Gaw, 25, of Fremont, Calif.; Sean Jabbar, 32, of Minneapolis; Christopher Jamieson, 30, of Douglasville, Ga.; Andrew J. Korpal, 29, of Granger, Ind.; Nicholas Saine, 27, of Seattle; Stanley Zdon, 27, of Tuckerton, N.J.; Christopher Schwabb, 25, of New Orleans; and Vittorio Francesco Gonzalez-Castillo, 26, of Tucson, Ariz.
Devor and Foster face charges of conspiracy to produce child pornography, distribution of child pornography and receipt of materials involving the sexual exploitation of minors. Schwab was charged with production of child pornography, distribution of child pornography and receipt of child pornography.
Gonzalez-Castillo and Zdon were charged with conspiracy to produce child pornography.
The others were charged with receipt of child pornography.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Sign up for emails from FOX 8 Live
Get news and forecasts from FOX 8 delivered to your inbox by signing up for the lists below.
Friday, March 7 2014 12:25 PM EST2014-03-07 17:25:13 GMT
For one teenager, homelessness is his reality but not his label. Hard work. Struggle. Power. Kendal Benjamin, 17, spends many afternoons in the weight room at C.A. Johnson High School. The graduatingMore >>
Kendal Benjamin, 17, spends many afternoons in the weight room at C.A. Johnson High School. The graduating senior plays football, track and wants to study athletic training in college. He comes to school every day, and many around him don't know what it's like when he goes home at night.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 4:53 PM EST2014-03-06 21:53:44 GMT
Steve and Annette Economides, otherwise known as America's Cheapest Family, gives people ways to save money in just about every aspect of life. The Economides said that on average a family of our spendsMore >>
Steve and Annette Economides, otherwise known as America's Cheapest Family, give people ways to save money in just about every aspect of life.More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 10:08 PM EST2014-03-08 03:08:29 GMT
The search for 2-year-old Myra Lewis has ended for tonight, and in a day filled with lots of activity, there's still a lot we don't know. Lewis has been missing since last Saturday. Authorities closedMore >>
The search for 2-year-old Myra Lewis has ended for tonight, and in a day filled with lots of activity, there's still a lot we don't know. Lewis has been missing since last Saturday.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 9:29 AM EST2014-03-06 14:29:24 GMT
A South Carolina woman who drove her mini-van into the ocean at Daytona Beach with her three kids inside is from Cross in Berkeley County, according to authorities in Florida. Police say they interviewedMore >>
A South Carolina woman who drove her mini-van into the ocean at Daytona Beach with her three kids inside is from Cross in Berkeley County, according to authorities in Florida. Police say they interviewed her two hours before the Tuesday afternoon incident but the woman was released because she showed no signs of being suicidal.More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 11:49 AM EST2014-03-07 16:49:10 GMT
Detectives say the suspect robbed a second-hand store near Newcastle wearing nothing but a G-string, and it was call caught on camera.More >>
Authorities in Australia caught a thief with an apparent love for super heroes. Detectives say the suspect robbed a second-hand store near Newcastle wearing nothing but a G-string, and it was call caught on camera.More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 11:37 AM EST2014-03-07 16:37:57 GMT
We've all heard the buzz after Kenneth Stokes claimed that Mayor Chokwe Lumumba was murdered, but he isn't the only one who thinks this is possible. Minister Louis Farrakhan spoke in front of a largeMore >>
Minister Louis Farrakhan spoke on the death of Jackson's late mayor. According to him, Lumumba probably didn't die of natural causes.More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 7:50 PM EST2014-03-08 00:50:40 GMT
Myra was last seen on Saturday at 10 am at her home in Camden. She was wearing a turquoise sweater with a bear on the front and khaki pants. More >>
Law Enforcement officers are preparing to extend their search for 2-year-old Myra Lewis into the night. Portable lights have been brought into the area, but still no official word on what they're planning next.More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 10:48 AM EST2014-03-07 15:48:02 GMT
(WMC-TV) – Holly Bobo's family released their first statement since an indictment was made in Holly's case. The statement was made to a Jackson, Tennessee television station. In a text message sent toMore >>
Holly Bobo's family released their first statement since an indictment was made in Holly's case. The statement was made to a Jackson, Tennessee television station.More >>
WLBT 3 - Fox 40
715 South Jefferson Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39201