Score:   1
Docket Number:   SD-TX  3:18-cr-00024
Case Name:   USA v. Knowlton
  Press Releases:
GALVESTON, Texas – A 57-year-old resident of Galveston who claimed the judicial system had no jurisdiction over him is headed to federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

U.S. District Judge George C. Hanks Jr. found John David Knowlton guilty of receipt and possession of child pornography following a two-day bench trial that concluded June 18.  

Today, Judge Hanks ordered him to serve 144 and 120 months for the receipt and possession convictions, respectively. The sentences will run concurrently for a total 12-year-term of imprisonment. The court took into consideration victim impact statements and arguments detailing Knowlton’s extensive child pornography collection. In handing down the sentence, the court noted Knowlton’s military service and age, but also considered the seriousness of the offenses, the community and justice for the child victims. Knowlton will also serve 15 years on supervised release following completion of his prison term, during which time he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet. He will also be ordered to register as a sex offender.

During trial, the court heard testimony from multiple law enforcement officers and a Comcast custodian of records.

In February 2016, law enforcement conducted an online session using a publicly available peer-to-peer file-sharing network and located an IP address whose shared folder contained images of child pornography. The IP address was associated with Knowlton’s residence. 

When law enforcement searched his home, they discovered more than a dozen electronic devices belonging to him that contained child pornography. Forensic analysis found that 18 electronic devices contained thousands of images and hundreds of videos of child pornography. 

Knowlton had opted to represent himself at the trial with the court-appointed shadow defense counsel. Knowlton, identifying as a sovereign citizen, argued that the federal judicial system had no jurisdiction over him. The court was not persuaded by his arguments and found him guilty as charged.

Previously released on bond, Knowlton was taken into custody after the guilty verdict where has remained pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future. 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Pearland Police Department and Galveston Police Department’s - Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force conducted the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zahra Jivani Fenelon and Kimberly Leo prosecuted the case, which was 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.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.” 

information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.” 

GALVESTON, Texas – A 56-year-old resident of Galveston has been found guilty of receipt and possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

U.S. District Judge George C. Hanks Jr. found John David Knowlton guilty following a two-day bench trial that concluded today.

During trial, the court heard testimony from multiple law enforcement officers and a Comcast custodian of records.

In February 2016, law enforcement conducted an online session using a publicly available peer-to-peer file-sharing network and located an IP address whose share folder contained images of child pornography.  The IP address was associated with Knowlton’s residence. 

When law enforcement searched his home, they discovered more than a dozen electronic devices belonging to him that contained child pornography. Forensic analysis found that 18 electronic devices contained thousands of images and hundreds of videos of child pornography, child erotica and artifacts of child pornography. 

Knowlton had opted to represent himself at the trial with the court-appointed shadow defense counsel. He rehired that counsel this morning. Knowlton, identifying as a sovereign citizen, argued that the federal judicial system had no jurisdiction over him. The court was not persuaded by his arguments and found him guilty as charged.

Judge Hanks set sentencing for Aug. 28, 2019. At that time, Knowlton faces a minimum of five and up to 20 years for the receipt of child pornography and up to 10 years imprisonment for the possession charge.

Previously released on bond, Knowlton was taken into custody after the guilty verdict where he will remain pending sentencing.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Pearland Police Department and Galveston Police Department’s - Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force conducted the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zahra Jivani Fenelon and Kimberly Leo prosecuted the case, which was 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.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”

Docket (0 Docs):   https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1BNFGuAHb1I0y_YZDJ2USy0ePn1uay1LpkXxwT2oIaWY/edit#gid=0
  Last Updated: 2021-04-29 23:02:35 UTC
Description: The fiscal year of the data file obtained from the AOUSC
Format: YYYY

Description: The code of the federal judicial circuit where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the federal judicial district where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the district office where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: Docket number assigned by the district to the case
Format: A7

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which cannot be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which can be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A sequential number indicating whether a case is an original proceeding or a reopen
Format: N5

Description: Case type associated with the current defendant record
Format: A2

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, defendant number, and reopen sequence number
Format: A18

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, and reopen sequence number
Format: A15

Description: The status of the defendant as assigned by the AOUSC
Format: A2

Description: A code indicating the fugitive status of a defendant
Format: A1

Description: The date upon which a defendant became a fugitive
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which a fugitive defendant was taken into custody
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date when a case was first docketed in the district court
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which proceedings in a case commenced on charges pending in the district court where the defendant appeared, or the date of the defendant’s felony-waiver of indictment
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code used to identify the nature of the proceeding
Format: N2

Description: The date when a defendant first appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code indicating the event by which a defendant appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
Format: A2

Description: A code indicating the type of legal counsel assigned to a defendant
Format: N2

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE1
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE1
Format: A3

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the second highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE2
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE2
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE2
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE2
Format: A3

Description: The FIPS code used to indicate the county or parish where an offense was committed
Format: A5

Description: The date of the last action taken on the record
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which judicial proceedings before the court concluded
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the final sentence is recorded on the docket
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the case was closed
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The total fine imposed at sentencing for all offenses of which the defendant was convicted and a fine was imposed
Format: N8

Description: A count of defendants filed including inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed excluding inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings commenced
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated including interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated excluding interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings terminated
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period including long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period excluding long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: The source from which the data were loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: A10

Description: A sequential number indicating the iteration of the defendant record
Format: N2

Description: The date the record was loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: Statistical year ID label on data file obtained from the AOUSC which represents termination year
Format: YYYY

Data imported from FJC Integrated Database
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