A 37 year-old Clayton man has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison followed by 10 years of supervised parole following his conviction on a federal charge of receiving child pornography.
The sentence against Jamie Brooks Franklin was handed down Wednesday in a Raleigh federal courtroom by Chief US District Judges James D. Dever III.
According to federal prosecutors, in September 2014 Xoom.com, an online international money transfer service, notified Yahoo! that a number of Yahoo! accounts were engaged in the sale of material depicting child exploitation. A Xoom.com Cybertip Report was forwarded to Yahoo!’s Electronic Crimes Investigative Team (ECIT). The ECIT conducted an investigation and observed that several Yahoo! electronic accounts operating in the Philippines were involved in the sale of materials portraying the sexual abuse of minors.
Based on the investigation, search warrants were obtained for the seller accounts and executed in February 2015. The search uncovered a chat conversation between a seller and a buyer using an email account later identified to be Jamie Franklin’s. They discussed the sale of pictures, videos, and live webcam shows depicting minors engaged in sexual activity.
The seller and Franklin exchanged emails as a means of communication. In September 2014, the seller sent Franklin multiple child porn images which depicted the sexual exploitation of minors. The seller also provided the defendant with 26 additional images of child pornography which included bestiality.
Agents learned that several of the login IP addresses utilized by Franklin were assigned to Time Warner Cable (TWC).
On December 10, 2015, Yahoo! notified the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that the defendant’s account received at least one video depicting child pornography (CP) in November 2015. The video depicted two nude prepubescent females between the ages of 12 and 15 engaged in sexual activity with each other. As the investigation progressed, at least six seller accounts were identified as being associated with and used by Franklin to purchase child porn. Franklin received the pornography from sellers through his email and Dropbox accounts.
A search warrant was obtained and executed his Clayton residence on November 9, 2016. Prior to the search, Franklin made a statement to agents that he began viewing child porn approximately five years earlier.
The defendant acknowledged currently possessing a “couple of hundred” images and videos of porn in his Dropbox account.
Franklin also acknowledged utilizing his Yahoo! email and Kik Messenger, an instant messenger application for mobile phones, to locate like-minded individuals to share the pornographic.
Once a like-minded individual was located, the defendant and the individual exchanged Dropbox URLs to gain access to each other’s collection of porn. Franklin also acknowledged utilizing Skype, a video chat program, to watch live sex shows with other adults.
The investigation recovered at least 42,610 images of child porn, many of which depicted nude prepubescent minors engaged in explicit sexual conduct. Many of the images and videos depicted prepubescent children less than 12 years of age and several of the images and videos portrayed sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence.
“The Court imposed a 15 year sentence on a defendant who preyed upon numerous of our most vulnerable citizens,” stated US Attorney Robert J. Higdon Jr. “Through the collection and distribution of child pornography the defendant victimized our children in the most degrading and base way. The sentence imposed by the court is extremely appropriate and should be a warning to others who would threaten our children in this way. We will seek sentences like this in other cases in our unwavering effort to stop this type of behavior and to protect our children.”
Hidgon thanked the FBI and the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office for their investigative work. The federal prosecution was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Ethan A. Ontjes.
This case was part of the Project Safe Childhood initiative, a national program aimed at ensuring that criminals exploiting children are effectively prosecuted by making full use of all available law enforcement resources at every level.