Federal program targets online child predators
A Gulfport man is facing up to 20 years in prison after downloading and transmitting 56 pornographic videos of minors engaged in sex acts.
Jesse Allen Nichols, 37, pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges of transporting images of minors engaged in sexually-explicit conduct.
His sentencing is set in November before U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola.
According to U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst, an investigation began after Nichols downloaded the videos into the online storage medium, Dropbox, which prompted officials with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children issuing Cyber tip report to agents with Homeland Security Investigations.
Nichols had downloaded the videos in February 2018.
After his arrest, Nichols admitted using his cellphone to download the child pornography from various sites and transmitting them to the online storage box.
“Dealing in sexually explicit videos of children is despicable,” Hurst said in a release. “I appreciate the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, our Homeland Security agents, trial attorneys from the U.S. Department of Justice and our prosecutors for putting an end to this criminal’s evil trade. We will continue to work with our government and private sector partners to make sure all these types of deviants are brought to justice.”
Nichols was indicted and arrested in December 2018.
In addition to prison time, Nichols is also facing potential fine of up to $250,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Jones and Justice Department attorney Ralph A. Paradiso prosecuted the case.