Convicted Sex Offender Jordan Cole Laws Is Sentenced To 12 Years

Convicted Sex Offender Jordan Cole Laws Is Sentenced To 12 Years For Possessing Child Pornography

(STL.News) – Today, U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr. sentenced Jordan Cole Laws, 21, of Burnsville, N.C., to 12 years in prison on child pornography charges, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.  Laws was also ordered to pay a $5,000 special assessment, to serve a lifetime of supervised release, and to register as a sex offender after he is released from prison.

Ronnie Martinez, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Charlotte, and Sheriff Gary Banks of the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office join U.S. Attorney Murray in making today’s announcement.

According to information contained in filed documents and statements made in court, in April 2019, law enforcement conducted an operation that included warrantless searches of convicted sex offenders in Yancey County, North Carolina.  At the time, Laws was under supervision by North Carolina state probation for a 2018 conviction in Texas for Indecency with a Child.  Court records show that during a search of Laws’ residence, law enforcement discovered on the defendant’s cell phone several videos and still images depicting child pornography, which led to the seizure of three cell phones that belonged to Laws.  A forensic analysis of the seized devices revealed that Laws possessed several images depicting children engaging in sexually explicit conduct.  On December 2, 2019, Laws pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography.

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Murray thanked HSI and the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office for conducting the investigation.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville prosecuted the case.

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.  Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.