Tuesday, August 9, 2016
STATESVLLE, N.C. – Joshua Lynn Cook, 32, of Hiddenite, N.C. was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Richard L. Voorhees to 89 months in prison on child pornography charges, announced Jill Westmoreland Rose, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Cook was also ordered to serve a lifetime of supervised release and to register as a sex offender.
John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division and Sheriff Chris Bowman of the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office join U.S. Attorney Rose in making today’s announcement.
According to court documents and information introduced at the sentencing hearing, on April 14, 2014, law enforcement became aware that Cook was downloading and sharing child pornography on the Internet. On the same date, Cook shared child pornography with an undercover agent at least three times using a peer-to-peer network. During subsequent searches, law enforcement seized Cook’s electronic devices, including a computer and a cellphone. Forensic analyses of those devices revealed that Cook possessed more than 6,000 images and 427 videos of child pornography, some of which depicted prepubescent minors engaging in sadistic and masochistic or other violent conduct. Some of the images and videos contained identified victims of 123 different series of child pornography produced in various places, such as Washington, Germany and France.
Cook pleaded guilty in January 2016 to one count of transportation, one count of receipt and one count of possession of child pornography. He is currently in custody and will be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.
U.S. Attorney Rose thanked the FBI and the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office for their investigation of this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cortney Randall of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte was in charge of the prosecution.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice, aimed at combating the growing online sexual exploitation of children.By combining resources, federal, state and local agencies are better able to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue those victims.For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov