Elizabethton Man Sentenced To 210 Months’ Imprisonment For Distribution Of Child Pornography

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – On November 4, 2021, James Ellison Catoe, 48, currently of Elizabethton, was sentenced by the Honorable Clifton L. Corker, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville to 210 months in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release.  Catoe will be required to register with the state sex offender registry and comply with special sex offender conditions during his supervised release.

As part of the plea agreement, Catoe agreed to plead guilty to one count of an indictment charging him with distribution of child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2252A (a)(2)(A) and (b)(1). 

According to the filed plea agreement, in November 2019, a search warrant was executed at Catoe’s home after information was provided to the Carter County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about child pornography images and videos being downloaded at the residence.  During the search, over 11,000 images of child pornography were found on Catoe’s computer and cellular phone.  Some images depicted the sexual victimization of a toddler.  During questioning, Catoe admitted to possessing child pornography and stated that he had been downloading and viewing child pornography for some time.  Catoe also admitted to distributing and trading child pornography to hundreds of individuals over the course of a year.  Catoe went on to tell law enforcement that he and a 14-year-old female had exchanged naked photos of themselves approximately 50 times.

The case was investigated by the Carter County Sheriff’s Office (“CCSO”) and Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”) and was led by HSI Special Agent Travis Carrier and CCSO Captain Jeff Markland.

Assistant United States Attorney Andrew C. Parker represented the United States.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), 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 Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC 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 PSC, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc/resources.html and click on the tab “resources.”

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