US citizen jailed on child porn allegations in Honduras

Sep 7, 2022, 3:37 AM | Updated: 4:02 pm

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — A United States citizen has been jailed for alleged child pornography and accused of possible involvement in human trafficking in Honduras after authorities found a semi-clothed minor in his apartment on the Caribbean island resort of Roatan.

Honduras Deputy Security Minister Julissa Villanueva said Wednesday that Gary Lee Johnston, 63, was arrested in Roatan on Aug. 29. Police had been investigating the disappearance of a young woman earlier this year named Angie Peña. But when they searched his apartment they found a 12-year girl.

Johnston’s lawyer could not be immediately identified to seek comment on the allegations.

“There is overwhelming witness, documental and tecnological evidence that show his connection to the crimes of which he is accused,” Villanueva said of Johnston.

She also said that there had been FBI alerts that Johnston consumed and produced child pornography.

“He did not act alone,” Villanueva said. “He is part of an international network that is being investigated,” she said.

The investigation into Peña disappearance had begun when she vanished while out on a personal watercraft Jan. 1. At first authorities believed she had drowned, but her body was never recovered. Villanueva said Peña could still be alive and being sexually exploited.

Johnston was believed to have been living in Roatan for approximately six years. He owned a condominium building, but was not widely known in the community.

On Monday, a judge ordered Johnston jailed while the investigation proceeded.

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US citizen jailed on child porn allegations in Honduras