Henrico Man Pleads Guilty to Child Exploitation Enterprise
RICHMOND, VA—Noland Anthony Harper, 61, of Henrico County, Virginia, pleaded guilty today to charges of engaging in a child exploitation enterprise.
According to court documents, Harper conspired with three other adult males to sexually abuse three juvenile victims, photograph the abuse, and then distribute the photos to other individuals over the Internet. In 2014, Harper traveled from Richmond to Desert Hot Springs, California on three separate occasions where he rendezvoused with the coconspirators who were residents of California and Arizona. While there, Harper and the others met up with the three minor boys, all of whom were under 16-years-old, including two who were 11-years-old, and sexually abused them, which included engaging in various sexual acts. During these trips, Harper took the boys to the beach, Disneyland, and the house of a coconspirator in Arizona, where he bought various gifts for the victims to induce them to pose for sexually explicit photographs. Harper would subsequently upload the sexually explicit images to a website from his Henrico residence and distribute them to willing recipients. Law enforcement initially detected Harper after one of the enterprise participants was arrested in California on outstanding warrants for child exploitation offenses. Evidence recovered from that arrest revealed that the arrestee was in possession of credit cards in Harper’s name, that he was in constant contact with Harper’s cell phone number, and that $10,000 had recently flowed through a bank account in both Harper’s and the arrestee’s name.
Harper was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 4, 2015. Harper faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison when he is sentenced on October 9, 2015. Following his prison term, Harper will be required to register as a sex offender in any U.S. jurisdiction in which he lives, works, or attends school. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Mark Herring, Attorney General of Virginia; and Adam S. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. Magistrate Judge Roderick C. Young.
This case was investigated by the FBI, as part of the FBI’s Innocent Images Task Force, and Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jessica D. Aber and Thomas A. Garnett, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Samuel E. Fishel of the Virginia Attorney General’s Office, are prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:15-cr-36.