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Johnson City man to plead in child porn case

Matthew Lane • Sep 25, 2018 at 8:15 PM

GREENEVILLE — A Johnson City man found with hundreds of videos and thousands of images of child pornography on his personal computer has agreed to plead guilty to a federal child pornography charge.

Nathan Alexander Kirkland is expected to appear in U.S. District Court in Greeneville Wednesday for a change of plea hearing. He was indicted in June on two charges: knowingly receiving and possessing child pornography.

Kirkland has agreed to plead guilty to the receiving charge. It carries a sentence of five to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The charges against Kirkland came after investigators were able to download eight child pornography videos from his computer over a two month period using the peer-to-peer file sharing program eMule.

The investigation began in November 2017 with the Knoxville Police Department and eventually involved the Kingsport Police Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI.

A forensic evaluation of Kirkland’s computer found he had received hundreds of videos of child porn and thousands of images were stored on his computer;

MAGISTRATE JUDGE RULING

Kirkland has been held without bond since his arrest earlier this year.

During a detention hearing in May, U.S. Magistrate Judge Clifton Corker ruled he was simply not willing to risk the very real threat of self-harm by Kirkland.

A federal agent testified that Kirkland instructed her, “Don’t ask my family to bond me out.” In addition, Corker noted that Kirkland has a family history of suicide and that Kirkland’s mother testified about her very real concern about her son’s mental health and fear of self-harm.

A sentencing date for Kirkland will be scheduled Wednesday.

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