Albany

Gloversville man gets 15 years for distributing, possessing child porn

This file photo shows the federal courthouse in Albany.
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This file photo shows the federal courthouse in Albany.

ALBANY — Jonathan L. Morgan, 32, of Gloversville, was sentenced in federal court Friday to 15 years in federal prison for distributing and possessing child pornography.

During the sentencing, Chief U.S. District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby also imposed a 15-year term of post-imprisonment supervised release for Morgan, who also will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison.

Morgan was arrested on March 12, 2020 on the charge of distributing child pornography after an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and its Child Exploitation Task Force.

FBI investigators determined Morgan had used a smart-phone based internet program called “Kik Messenger” under the name “ilikyoung” to distribute videos depicting the sexual exploitation of children on March 11 and March 12, 2020.

According to the original criminal complaint against Morgan, a Jacksonville, Florida-based FBI employee was using the Kik program in an undercover capacity between March 11 and March 12 and “repeatedly observed” that someone using the display name ‘J M’ and user name ‘ilikyoung'” posted messages in a group chat room soliciting child pornography and offering to share a video of himself “sexually exploiting a child.”

According to the complaint, the undercover FBI employee interacted with Morgan, who affirmed that a 66-second color video he shared on the app depicted him having sex with what appeared to be a pre-pubescent female and that he had other videos he could share “only for trade.”

However, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett, who acts as the public information officer for the U.S. Northern District of New York, said further investigation of the videos distributed by Morgan determined that, despite what he had said to the undercover FBI employee, he likely did not create any of them.

“There’s no evidence that that’s actually the case. We think he was just saying that,” Barnett said. “Sometimes it does happen that we catch people who create these horrific things, but in this specific case our investigation determined he did not create that video.” Morgan was not convicted or charged with creating pornography.

The criminal complaint against Morgan explained how he was arrested:

“On March 12, 2020, “ilikyoung’ sent to the [FBI employee] several more images and a video depicting prepubescent females, approximately 5-7 years old, being digitally penetrated by an adult’s hand or having an adult male masturbating near the minor’s vaginal area,” reads the complaint.

Morgan also sent several “selfie”-type images of an adult male to the FBI undercover employee on March 12.

The internet service provider told the FBI that the internet protocol address associated with ilikyoung’s March 12 communications “was a certain residence in Gloversville.”

On March 12, FBI agents and task force officers set up surveillance of the residence. Officers identified Morgan from the selfie-type photos he had sent to the undercover FBI employee.

“Agents and officers approached him on the street and asked him to place his cellphone on the hood of one of the agent’s vehicles, at which time Morgan refused, and damaged the cellphone’s screen while resisting commands to comply,” reads the complaint.

According to the complaint, after Morgan was read his rights, he admitted to officers that he used Kik Messenger and his screen name was “ilikyoung.” He also admitted to posting the video depicting sexual abuse of a female minor and admitted to having physically touched a child inappropriately, although he was not charged with that.

“He did admit to inappropriately touching a child, but that’s not connected to any filming,” Barnett said. “There is no indication that he produced that video. That video could have been made in Eastern Europe, or wherever. To be clear, there’s no evidence that he created that video. His conviction is for possession and distribution, it would be a separate conviction, if he actually created it.”

Morgan pleaded guilty to the charge of distributing child pornography and guilty to possessing child pornography on two smart phones on April 9.
The sentencing Friday was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon and Janeen DiGuiseppi, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Albany office.

 

Categories: Fulton Montgomery Schoharie, News, Saratoga County

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