An Ivel man pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges Monday in U.S. District Court in Pikeville.

Joshua Keith Lawson, 31, of Toms Creek Road, Ivel, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Nov. 2017 on four counts, including one count of production of child pornography. Lawson was also indicted on two counts of distribution of child pornography and one count possessing an electronic storage media containing such depictions.

On Monday, Lawson appeared in U.S. District Court in Pikeville to enter into a plea agreement in which he pleaded guilty to one count of producing child pornography and two counts of distributing child pornography.

The count of possession storage media was dismissed.

During the hearing, Lawson’s defense attorney Richard Hughes acknowledged Lawson did download images and then re-upload images as part of a sting operation, but that the “photos produced by him were borderline sexually explicit.”

U.S. Chief District Judge Karen K. Caldwell stated that Lawson faced a maximum statutory sentence of between five and 30 years in prison, at least five years in prison and, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Parman, Lawson must register as a sex offender.

Lawson is scheduled to be sentenced in the case on May 3 in Pikeville. He was returned to the custody of the Pike County Detention Center where he has been held since his arrest in October.

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