Joseph Charles Nolan

Joseph Charles Nolan of Peoria was sentenced to 12 years for child exploitation. 

Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced last week Joseph Charles Nolan, 51, of Peoria, was sentenced to 12 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections for sexual exploitation of a minor.  

“Predators may try and hide behind the internet, but anyone who sexually exploits children will be aggressively prosecuted by our office,” said Brnovich.

 In March of 2016, investigators with the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Tucson identified a computer from the Phoenix metropolitan area sharing video files containing graphic depictions of child sexual exploitation online through a peer-to-peer file-trading network.

Investigators traced the computer to an apartment in Peoria and passed the tip to the Phoenix HSI Office for follow-up. HSI agents tracked Nolan to a second apartment in Peoria, where they executed a search warrant on Nov. 3, 2016.

 In a post-arrest interview, Nolan admitted he lived alone in the first apartment during the time the Tucson-based agents downloaded the exploitative images from his computer. Agents searching Nolan’s apartment located a Toshiba laptop and two external storage drives, upon which forensic analysis later found images and videos of child sexual exploitation. 

Analysis also showed peer-to-peer file-sharing software was installed on the computer during the time the Tucson-based agents downloaded the images from his computer. 

Nolan pleaded guilty to two felony counts, each involving an image of a girl estimated to be less than 13-years-old. 

Nolan will begin a term of lifetime probation upon his release from the Arizona Department of Corrections in approximately Sept. 2030. Nolan will also be required to register as a sex offender when he is released.

“Child exploitation investigations are one of HSI’s highest priorities because children remain vulnerable to online abuse and are deserving of our protection and concern,” said Scott Brown, special agent in charge for HSI Phoenix.

 “While many of these perpetrators attempt to shield their illegal activities and hide behind their keyboards, HSI and their law enforcement partners will continue efforts to locate them and bring them to justice.”