FBI: Rhode Island Man Caught with Child Pornography

Johnston, RI (WLNE) – A Johnston man faces a charge of ‘possession of child pornography’. Federal Agents said he used a file-sharing system called Freenet to get the child pornography. Jon Knowles of Bishop Hill Road was arrested on November 17.

An FBI agent said computers that were controlled by law enforcement received the following requests for child pornography files from the same IP address.

  • -June 24, 2021: Computers that were controlled by law enforcement officers received a request for pieces of one large file via Freenet. An FBI agent downloaded the large file and found it to be a child pornography video involving a girl between 7 and 9 years old.
  • -August 5 and 6, 2021:Computers that were controlled by law enforcement officers received a request for pieces of two bigger files via Freenet. An FBI agent downloaded the two bigger files and found them to be child pornography videos involving girls under the age of ten.

Federal agents then served a subpoena to Verizon to get information about the IP address that made those requests. Officers said Verizon responded by identifying the IP address as coming from Jon Knowles on Bishop Hill Road in Johnston.

A judge granted a search warrant for Jon Knowles’ address on November 15. Two days later, officers executed the search warrant at Knowles’ home. They seized a desktop computer, three laptop computers, five external hard drives, six cds and two flash drives.

The federal complaint said Knowles was there at the time of the search and admitted downloading Freenet 2-3 years ago. However, the complaint said Knowles did not admit to using Freenet to download child pornography.

Federal agents said, during the search of the home, they found 20 files on an external hard drive labeled with names that indicated the files contained child pornography. Agents opened three of the files while on-site during the search and confirmed the files contained child pornography. Agents said a second external hard drive contained at least ten photos of a girl who was around 12-13 years old.

The federal complaint said a full forensic analysis will be conducted on all of the seized files and devices.

Knowles was granted an unsecured bond of $10,000 with conditions. The judge ordered that he be assigned a public defender. Knowles’ next hearing in the case is November 29.

 

 

Categories: News, Regional News, Rhode Island