Wilson man sentenced to 20 years on child pornography charge

Published 3:55 pm Wednesday, November 2, 2022

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From U.S. Attorney Michael Easley / Eastern District of North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. –– Jose Lopez of Wilson was sentenced today to 240 months in prison for possession of child pornography.  Lopez, 20, pleaded guilty to the charge on October 25, 2021.  According to court documents and other information presented in court, from February through August of 2021, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received eight reports of illegal activity from Snapchat, Discord, and Twitter for an IP address out of Wilson, NC.  Surveillance and database inquiries identified the resident as the defendant Jose Lopez.  Law enforcement executed a search warrant at the house in Wilson on October 25, 2021, and seized multiple electronic devices, including phones and laptops.  A forensic examination of the devices uncovered over 700 videos and 1,500 images depicting children engaged in sexual acts or displaying their genitals.  Some depicted infants and toddlers.  The examination also uncovered online chats in which Lopez discussed a desire to have sex with children and brags about raping three minors, including a nine-year-old girl.

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.  For more information about this important national project, Project Safe Childhood, go to www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle. The Department of Homeland Security investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Jake D. Pugh  prosecuted.

A copy of this press release is located on our website. Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:22-cr-0051-BO.