Former Johnson Youth Center superintendent sentenced for child porn

The Johnson Youth Center is a state juvenile detention facility in Juneau.
The Johnson Youth Center is a state juvenile detention facility in Juneau. (Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)

A former state worker who oversaw a youth correctional center has been sentenced to four years in federal prison after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography.

According to the U.S. Justice Department, Dennis Weston of Anchorage responded to a Craigslist ad in 2017 and began a year-long series of communications related to child sexual exploitation. The person he was exchanging messages with, however, was an undercover FBI agent. Eventually, officials searched Weston’s property and found a computer with graphic images of child pornography.

At the time he began texting with the undercover agent posing as a 10-year-old girl, Weston was a deputy director for the state’s Division of Juvenile Justice. In that job, he supervised the McLaughlin Youth Center in Anchorage, although prosecutors do not allege that he acted inappropriately or illegally at the facility.

U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason sentenced Weston to four years in federal prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release.

Correction: A previous version of this story misidentified the name of the correctional facility where Dennis Weston worked while he was in Juneau. It is the Johnson Youth Center. 

 

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