Nassau County Man Arrested and Charged with Transporting Child Pornography Over the Internet
Jacksonville, Florida – Acting United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow announces the arrest of Charles Cory Thornton (36, Yulee) on a criminal complaint charging him with transporting and attempting to transport child pornography over the Internet. He faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 5 years, up to 20 years, in federal prison. His detention hearing is scheduled for August 2, 2017.
According to the criminal complaint, on July 20, 2017, FBI agents executed a search warrant at Thornton’s residence based on suspected online child exploitation activity. Thornton was not at home, but he was located and interviewed later that day at Naval Air Station Jacksonville where he worked as a machinist. During the interview, Thornton admitted, among other things, that he had been searching for child pornography for several years using a particular file sharing program, that he knew that other users were able to download images and videos from his computer, and that he was a “pedophile” and was sexually attracted to children. In subsequent interviews over the next two days, Thornton admitted that he had used a small camera hidden in a digital clock in a bathroom to produce videos of child pornography depicting three children during 2008 and 2009. Agents recovered this camera from Thornton’s home.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.
It is another case 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 Attorneys’ 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. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.