(STL.News) – U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow today sentenced John Wright III, age 36, of Edgewood, Maryland, to 30 years in federal prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, for production of child pornography. Judge Chasanow also ordered that, upon his release from prison, Wright must register as a sex offender in the places where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge John Eisert of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey R. Gahler; Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; and Harford County State’s Attorney Albert Peisinger.
According to his guilty plea, between December 2016 and January 2018, Wright sexually abused two minor female victims and was convicted in Harford County Circuit Court for two counts of sex abuse of a minor. The investigation also revealed that Wright produced sexually explicit images of one of the victims, who was nine-years-old at the time. In addition, Wright distributed at least one such visual depiction to another person in exchange for other child pornography. The investigation showed that Wright possessed and stored numerous images of child pornography on two cell phones and in cloud storage via the Internet.
As detailed in his plea agreement, between May and December 2017, Wright posted ads on an Internet marketplace requesting sexual services and referencing children, including ads looking for “pics/vids” of children. On December 3, 2017, Wright was contacted by Keith Taylor in reference to one of his ads. The communication between the two men was conducted through a mobile messaging application. During their conversations Wright offered to “pay for good links” of “kids or infant.” Taylor responded that he liked to trade. Taylor and Wright exchanged videos and Wright offered to send a sexually explicit image Wright had produced of the nine-year-old victim to Taylor, which he did. Over the course of several conversations, Taylor requested pornographic videos of the victim and requested that Wright have the victim “strip.” Wright agreed to try but requested “better” images from Taylor. Taylor sent Wright multiple links to child pornography stored on one of Taylor’s cloud storage accounts.
Law enforcement executed a search warrant on two of Wright’s cloud storage accounts, which revealed that Wright had saved 124 child pornography videos and numerous still images of child pornography.
In a separate case, on December 10, 2018, Judge Chasanow sentenced Keith Edward Taylor, age 33, of Kingsville, Maryland, to 27 years in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, for production of child pornography.
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 the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended HSI-Baltimore, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, the Maryland State Police, and the Harford County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation and thanked the Harford County Child Advocacy Center for its assistance. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Maddox, who prosecuted the federal case.