Former Carter County man sentenced to 13 years for child pornography

Published 10:46 am Friday, November 19, 2021

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From Staff Reports
A former Carter County man was sentenced to more than 13 years in prison this week after being arrested with more than 2,000 images of child pornography on his cellphone.
Justin Claude Richardson, 29, currently of Erwin, was sentenced to 160 months in federal prison on Thursday by a U.S. District Court judge.
After his release, Richardson will serve 20 years of probation and must register as a sex offender. The sentence was part of a deal in which Richardson pleaded guilty to receipt of child pornography. He also was ordered to pay restitution to victims making claims, who were identified through the Child Victim Identification Program database.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Richardson was arrested May 13, 2019, on suspicion of kidnapping. At the time, his cell phone was seized. Officers discovered 2,364 images of child pornography, including images of bestiality, sadomasochistic acts and infants. The web browser on the phone reflected hundreds of searches for child pornography, with searches occurring shortly before his arrest.
The criminal indictment was the result of an investigation by the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation. This investigation was led by FBI Special Agent Bianca Pearson.
Assistant United States Attorney J. Gregory Bowman represented the United States.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006, by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about PSC, please visit
For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab “resources.”

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