By Sharry Dedman-Beard
Mark Douglas Helton, 61, of Maryville, Tenn., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, to knowingly distributing and receiving child pornography. Sentencing has been set for 2:00 p.m., March 9, 2016.
Helton faces a maximum of up to 40 years in prison, as well as supervised release following incarceration, restitution, and fines. Pursuant to his plea agreement, Helton admitted to distributing and receiving child pornography via the Internet with peer-to-peer computer software. Helton also admitted to possessing in excess of 600 images of child pornography, including images of sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence involving minors.
This investigation was conducted by the Knoxville Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Morris represented the United States.