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Dodge Center Man Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison for Child Porn | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing


Mantorville, MN (KROC-AM News)- A Dodge Center man was sentenced to a multi-year prison term after being convicted of multiple counts of child pornography possession.  

31-year-old Joseph Lee Carlson entered guilty pleas to five counts of possession of child pornography in July. In exchange, the Dodge County Attorney’s Office agreed to dismiss 15 other felony child pornography charges and three counts of solicitation of a child. 

On Wednesday Carlson was sentenced to five years in prison, the maximum length sentence allowed under state guidelines. The judge also handed down a five-year conditional release period after Carlson’s confinement in state prison. 

The plea agreement indicated Carlson’s defense attorney had planned on asking for a downward departure and a stayed prison sentence.  

Minnesota Correctional Facility – St. Cloud — Photo by Ashli Gerdes, WJON
Minnesota Correctional Facility – St. Cloud — Photo by Ashli Gerdes, WJON

The charges stemmed from an investigation that began in September of last year after Carlson was confronted by a vigilante group that called itself the Midwest Predator Catchers.  Armed with cell phone cameras streaming video to YouTube, three members of the group claimed Carlson had solicited sex from one of them posing as a 14-year-old boy online.

file photo – Getty Images
file photo – Getty Images

The following month, investigators executed search warrants and found more than 200 suspected child pornography images stored on Carlson’s phone and other electronic devices and more than 150 sexually explicit videos of children as young as infants. 

The court document also states that a large number of online chats were found on the phone that contained sexualized conversations between Carlson and juveniles. 

Minnesota Dept. of Corrections photo
Minnesota Dept. of Corrections photo

Carlson has been ordered to serve his prison term at the State Correctional Facility in St. Cloud. He has been credited for over a year served behind bars.

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