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Judge hands down heavy sentence for child pornography offenses

Lucas Anthony Nichols sentenced to 262 months for child pornography offenses.

By Tamas Mondovics

Thanks to Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse another dangerous sexual predator will be off the streets for at least the next two decades.
Lucas Anthony Nichols, 40, of Knoxville, Tennessee, was sentenced by the Honorable Thomas A. Varlan, Chief U.S. District Judge, to serve 262 months (21.8 years) in federal prison for receiving and possessing child pornography. PSC was launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.
According to state officials following his release from prison, Nichols will continue to be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for another ten years and will be required to register with the sex offender registry in any state in which he resides, works, or attends school.
Nichols pleaded guilty to federal charges in April, stemming from an undercover investigation into the storage of child pornography over the Internet.
Law enforcement officials emphasized that search warrants were issued for Nichols’ online storage account and his residence, which revealed that Nichols had saved thousands of images and videos of child pornography on his online storage account, including sadistic depictions of the sexual abuse of young children.
While the investigation was conducted by the Knoxville Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Unit, U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service and assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Morris represented the United States in court proceedings, the crime and its effects sadly reach into every corner of the country and the planet.
“The receipt and collection of child pornography is a
serious crime that perpetuates the victimization of
children and fuels the
demand for the production of more child pornography,” said J. Douglas Overbey, U.S. Attorney for the
Eastern District of Tennessee. “Our office commends the collaborative law enforcement efforts taken to bring this defendant to justice,” added U.S. Attorney Overbey.
Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC 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.
For more information about PSC, please visit