Derry Man, Jason Ellis Pleads Guilty to Attempted Transfer of Obscene Material to a Minor and Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material
(STL.News) Jason Ellis, 45, of Derry, pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday to attempted transfer of obscene material to a minor and possession of child sexual abuse material, United States Attorney Jane E. Young announced today.
According to court documents and statements made in court, beginning in October 2020, an online covert employee (OCE) working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began corresponding with Ellis through a social media platform known for sharing child sexual abuse material.
From approximately October 5, 2020 to September 8, 2021, Ellis engaged in graphic, sexually-oriented conversations pertaining to minors with the OCE and the OCE’s fictitious 13-year-old daughter (OCE2). Eventually, Ellis began engaging in sexually explicit chats directly with OCE2. Ellis described specific sexual acts he wanted OCE2 to engage in and sent images of his erect penis to OCE2.
In January 2022, the same OCE was operating a different online undercover persona when he received a message from a user in Rockingham County. After some communication, the OCE realized that these communications also appeared to be from Ellis. During this communication, Ellis sent the OCE an image of child sexual abuse material. Ellis’ cell phone was later seized during the execution of a search warrant at his residence.
The contents of Ellis’ cell phone confirmed he was the user of the online accounts that the OCE had previously communicated with. Portions of the OCE chats were located on Ellis’ phone, as were several images that were sent by Ellis to the OCE during the chat conversations. Ellis also appeared to be corresponding through social media platforms with other users purporting to be as young as 14 years old. These chats were frequently sexual in nature and sometimes including Ellis soliciting and sharing nude images.
Ellis is scheduled to be sentenced on September 26, 2022.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Derry Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kasey Weiland.
In February 2006, the Department of Justice introduced Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims.