Mississippi News

Man pleads guilty to child pornography possession

Credit: U.S. Attorney’s Office – Southern District of Mississippi

A Hattiesburg man pled guilty to possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Jermicha Fomby of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Zane Michael Bonner, 44, pled guilty on Jan. 10, 2023, in U.S. District Court in Hattiesburg.

According to court documents, Bonner was found to be in possession of a cellular telephone at his rehabilitation center residence in Hattiesburg on Nov. 18, 2021, from which a forensic examination recovered over 2,500 visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.  Bonner has a previous conviction for possession of child pornography in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama.

Bonner is scheduled to be sentenced on April 19, 2023, and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the case with the assistance of the Mississippi Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Division and the Forest County Sheriff’s Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Jones is prosecuting the case.

This 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 Attorneys’ 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.usdoj.gov/psc

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