Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces that a federal jury has found James John Edwards (37, Brevard County) guilty of possession of child pornography. Edwards faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and must forfeit a computer and a one-terabyte hard drive that was used in the commission of the offense. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 15, 2019.
Edwards was indicted on March 6, 2019.
According to evidence presented at trial, on February 7, 2019, during the execution of a federal search warrant, Edwards was found to be in possession of more than 1,000 videos and over 300 images depicting young children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The videos and images depicted toddlers and children under the age of 12 in bondage, being raped and sodomized, and made to perform sadistic sexual acts. The evidence also showed that Edwards had an extensive computer background, and in this case, used a file-sharing software to search for, download, and view child pornography via a computer and hard drive in his bedroom. The computer was connected to a television that was mounted on the wall above Edwards’s dresser. Edwards used the hard drive to store videos and images of child pornography. His collection dated back to 2015.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Palm Bay Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ilianys Rivera Miranda.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, 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 United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.