Sex Offender Sentenced To 10 Years For Possessing Child Pornography

A Johnston County man was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison for possessing child pornography.

According to court documents, Mitch Hamilton Parrish, 44, possessed several images of child pornography when law enforcement agents searched his home near Smithfield.

Local, state and federal law enforcement officers searched Parrish’s residence in the Maplewood Run subdivision off Cleveland Road in November 2017.  A search warrant was obtained after an undercover operation conducted by the North Carolina Internet Crimes Against Children (NCICAC) Taskforce allegedly identified Parrish’s residence as a distribution point for child pornography.

Using digital forensic analysis, agents found child pornography on Parrish’s laptop.  The agents said they also found internet search terms related to child pornography.

This is the second time Parrish has been convicted of possessing child pornography.  In 2010, Parrish was convicted in Franklin County Superior Court of three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor relating to possessing child pornography.  Parrish is also a registered sex offender.

Robert J. Higdon, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement in federal court in Raleigh after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. Homeland Security Investigations, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Cary Police Department and the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Parris and Melissa Kessler  prosecuted the case.

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.