Harwood man sentenced to 18 years on child porn, weapons convictions

Jul 30, 2019

     U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow, Monday, sentenced John Patrick Dillon, age 62, formerly of Harwood. to 18 years in federal prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, for transportation and possession of child pornography, as well as for illegal possession of firearms by a previously convicted felon.  

     Judge Chasanow ordered that Dillon must pay restitution of $1,000 to one of the child victims.  Upon his release from prison, Dillon must continue to register as a sex offender in the places where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).  Dillon has been detained since his arrest on May 21, 2018.     The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Special Agent in Charge Cardell T. Morant of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; and Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess.patricj According to the agreed-upon statement of facts, in 1998, Dillon was convicted in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County for sexual abuse of a minor and was sentenced to serve seven years in prison.  Dillon has been a registered sex offender since his release from state  prison.         Beginning in 2015, Dillon began searching the Internet for child pornography and created a number of videos of the searches he ran and the child pornography he found and viewed.  He saved the material to DVDs.  Dillon also uploaded images of child pornography to search for other images of child pornography online, which led to a cybertip being sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).  NCMEC then sent the cybertip to the Maryland State Police.              As a result of the investigation, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Dillon’s residence on April 26, 2018.  Law enforcement seized digital storage media, a desktop computer, and cellular phone.  In addition, law enforcement located and seized a .303-caliber rifle, two 12-gauge shotguns, a pistol, and 63 rounds of ammunition.  By virtue of his previous conviction, Dillon was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition.             A subsequent forensic examination of the electronic items seized led to the discovery of more than 1,700 images and 320 videos of child pornography, including images documenting the sexual abuse of prepubescent minors, and sadistic, masochistic, and other depictions of violence.           The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.