Former Juvenile Officer in Alaska Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison for Downloading Child Porn From The Dark Web
A former Alaska juvenile justice official who pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography has been sentenced Monday to four years in prison, federal prosecutors announced.
U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason sentenced Dennis Weston, 55, for his guilty plea in October to the charge of one count of sexual exploitation of a child.
Weston is the former deputy director of the state Department of Juvenile Justice, where he supervised McLaughlin Youth Center.
Weston in April 2017 responded to an online advertisement that referenced child exploitation topics, prosecutors said.
That kicked off a year-long dialogue with an undercover FBI agent regarding the exploitation of a fictional child named “Becky,” prosecutors said.
Weston used a cellphone to communicate and called himself “John.”
Investigators searched Weston’s home and seized a laptop computer that contained 22 images depicting child sexual exploitation, prosecutors said.
Investigators also found evidence that Weston had accessed the “dark web” to search for images of child exploitation.
Ten of the images found on his computer featured children younger than 12, prosecutors said.
Judge Gleason said the sentence was intended to convey that “all of us in this society are accountable to the law.” Weston abused the trust of the community, the judge said.