A Minatare man will serve more than 12 years imprisonment on charges of possessing child pornography.
U.S. Attorney Steven Russell announced Friday that Richard Knott Jr., 35, was sentenced in Lincoln by U.S. District Judge John M. Gerrard. Knott was sentenced to 150 months, or 12.5 years, in prison and will also serve 10 years on supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.
Knott was also ordered to pay $4,000 to a fund designated for victims of this type of crime.
According to information released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the case against Knott began with an investigation regarding the sharing of child pornography on a specific foreign-based cloud storage website. The investigation primarily concerned two hyperlinks which contained folders and subfolders of child pornography primarily depicting infants and toddlers. The investigation reviewed user accounts which were accessing and downloading child pornography from these links. The IP address from one of the user accounts traced back to Knott. The subscriber information for the email address also came back to him.
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On June 9, 2021, a federal search warrant was executed at Knott’s home. During the execution, two of Knott’s cellphones, a hard drive and five laptop computers were seized. During the execution of the warrant, Knott agreed to be interviewed and he allegedly admitted that one year after he was released from prison for a prior child pornography crime, he began viewing and downloading child pornography again. Knott had previously been convicted in 2012 for possessing child pornography in Scotts Bluff County.
The forensic download and review of Knott’s cellphone and other devices were determined to contain approximately 33,000 images and 7,000 videos of child pornography.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.