Anderson man found guilty of child pornography offenses

After a six-day trial, a federal jury found James Jay Hitt, 49, from Anderson guilty Friday of one count of receiving child pornography, one count of distributing child pornography, and three counts of possessing child pornography.

According to evidence, Hitt interacted with a 12-person network of child pornographers, managed a child pornography blog, and messaged people through a Russian website that served as a platform for child pornographers to trade and discuss child pornography. Based on a lead from the FBI in Idaho, investigators in California searched Hitt's home on January 4, 2013, and when they entered his home to search it, he pulled a knife on them.

Investigators found Hitt has downloaded over 4,000 images and dozens of videos of child pornography onto a desktop computing, an 80-gigabyte internal hard driver, and several CDs. Hitt has been in custody since June 15, 2015.

Hitt is scheduled to be sentenced on April 6, 2018. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of 40 years in prison for receiving child pornography, a maximum statutory penalty of 40 years in prison for distributing child pornography, and a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each count of possessing child pornography. He also faces a $250,000 fine for each count of conviction.

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