Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Navy Lieutenant John Hall Pleads Guilty to Possession of Child Porn

A Navy lieutenant commander pleaded guilty Tuesday to one federal count of possessing child pornography.

John J. Hall, 39, admitted having a series of child pornographic photos on his home computer while he lived in Virginia Beach between November 2006 and October 2007.

Federal agents said they discovered that Hall had paid for membership to a child pornography Web site that offers downloads for an $80 fee. A search of his computer revealed about 288 images of child pornography, according to court records.

In the fall of 2007, the agents notified Hall that he was the target of an investigation. The Navy then transferred him to Rhode Island, where he subsequently disappeared and was listed as absent without leave, court records say.

Hall was arrested in November by Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents and sent to a psychiatric hospital for an evaluation.

Court records show that doctors determined that Hall was competent to stand trial.

Hall was caught as part of Project Flicker and Operation Predator, two programs led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that target producers, distributors and recipients of child pornography. More than 11,000 arrests have been made.

Hall is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 26. He faces up to 10 years in prison.

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