Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

July 8, 2014

Mercer County man gets 8 plus years in prison for federal pornography offense

BLUEFIELD —  A Mercer County man was sentenced Tuesday to eight years and a month in prison for a federal child pornography offense, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said.

Johnny Richard Rowe, 61, of Bluewell previously pleaded guilty in January to possessing child pornography, Goodwin said. Rowe’s sentence was handed down Tuesday by Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber.

Goodwin said an investigation conducted by the West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force revealed that Rowe possessed 728 images and 14 videos of child pornography. The images depict prepubescent minors and minors engaged in sexual acts.  Goodwin said the pornography was discovered on Rowe’s computer and on a flash drive located at his residence in Bluewell. The investigation also revealed that Rowe received and shared child pornography by using a file sharing network that allows users to download files from other people’s computers around the world.   

“The exploitation of innocent children is a heinous crime,” Goodwin said. “Child pornography has a highly destructive impact on the most vulnerable segment of society and my office will work diligently to ensure that criminals like Mr. Rowe are prosecuted to the fullest extent.”

The West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department, and the West Virginia State Police conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Lisa Johnston handled the prosecution.

This case was prosecuted as part of Goodwin’s ongoing initiative to combat sexual exploitation and abuse in the Southern District of West Virginia.


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