Pulaski County Man Sentenced to 28 Years for Production of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release

U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. – A Somerset, Ky., man, Johnathan Fitzgerald Cannada, 41, was sentenced on Tuesday, by U.S. District Judge Karen K. Caldwell, to 28 years in prison, for production of child pornography.  

According to his plea agreement, Cannada admitted to having a sexual relationship with a minor, where he persuaded the minor victim to engage in sexually explicit conduct, to produce visual depictions of the conduct.  On at least two occasions, Cannada filmed himself engaging in sexual activity with the minor.  Separately, the minor would also capture sexually explicit depictions of herself, on a device Cannada provided her, and would then send them to him, via Facebook Messenger, at his request.  During the investigation, Cannada also attempted to obstruct justice in several ways, by remotely wiping the victim’s device while it was in police custody, encouraging the victim to delete evidence through Facebook Messenger, and threatening physical violence toward a family member of the victim.

Under federal law, Cannada must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence.  Upon his release from prison, he will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for 10 years.

Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Michael E. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Louisville Field Office; Russell Coleman, Kentucky Attorney General’s Office; and Chief William Hunt, Somerset Police Department, jointly announced the sentence.

The investigation was conducted by FBI, ,Somerset Police Department, and the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office. David Dalton, Commonwealth Attorney for the 28th Judicial Circuit, also provided significant assistance to the investigation and prosecution of the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Melton is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted this case as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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