Md. man pleads guilty to federal child porn charge

WASHINGTON – A Maryland man pleaded guilty Friday to federal charges of producing child pornography, Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced.

Joshua P. Blakenship, 25, of Solomons, Md., admitted to forcing people under the age 18 to send him photos and to creating a fake online profile to gain access to pictures and videos of girls.

According to prosecutors, Blakenship requested and received a nude photo of a teen girl he had “friended” on Facebook. Several months later, he demanded 10 more nude photos and threatened to tell the police that she sent an illegal image with her phone if she did not comply.

The girl provided “several dozen pictures” to Blakenship, an ICE statement says.

As part of his plea agreement, Blakenship must register as a sex offender and he has agreed to be sentenced to 12 years in prison at his March 15 sentencing in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, according to ICE.

ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations team in Baltimore led the investigation, which was part of an initiative to protect children from sexual predators including Internet pornographers and child sex traffickers.

The Calvert County Sheriff’s Office and the Rapid City, S.D., Police Department also aided in the investigation, ICE says.

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