FARGO, N.D. (KXNET) — United States Attorney Jennifer Klemetsrud Puhl announced that Johnson Shae Tollefson, a 29-year-old man from Spirit Lake, appeared before Chief Judge Peter D. Welte, and was sentenced to 30 years in prison after having pleaded guilty on February 8, 2022, to Production, Distribution, and Possession of Child Pornography.
According to a news release, Judge Welte also sentenced Tollefson to a lifetime of supervised release and ordered him to pay $12,000 in restitution to four victims who were depicted in the images of child pornography.
This case came to the attention of law enforcement after the social networking website Tumblr reported that the Tumblr user “hornybiguysstuff” uploaded child pornography images during a private blog via the platform on December 19, 2019.
A subsequent investigation revealed that user “hornybiguysstuff” was in reality, Tollefson.
Tollefson produced child pornography in Dilworth, Minnesota, that depicted a toddler-age female.
While in North Dakota, Tollefson subsequently distributed child pornography to other Tumblr users in exchange for other child pornography.
A federal grand jury in the District of Minnesota returned an Indictment charging Tollefson with the production of child pornography and a federal grand jury in North Dakota returned an Indictment charging him with the distribution and possession of child pornography.
The Minnesota Indictment was eventually transferred to the District of North Dakota and Tollefson pleaded guilty to both Indictments in North Dakota. The two cases were combined for sentencing.
This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse.
Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices throughout the nation, Project Safe Childhood, in conjunction with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), help federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies enhance their investigative responses to offenders who use the Internet, online communications systems, or computer technology to sexually exploit children.
The ICAC Program is a national network of 61 coordinated task forces engaging in proactive investigations, forensic investigations, and criminal prosecutions.
Project Safe Childhood also helps to identify and rescue victims.
For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit their website.
This case was investigated by the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Homeland Security Investigation, and the case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office, with United States Attorney Jennifer Puhl assigned to the case.