Niceville man sentenced to 70 months in prison on child porn charges.

Thomas E. Turner, a government contractor residing in Niceville, has been sentenced to 70 months in federal prison on child pornography charges.


Turner, 58, entered a guilty plea late last week to the charges of receiving child pornography and attempting to transfer obscene material to a minor, a news release from the US Attorneys Office said.


The investigation was initiated in May of 2018 when an undercover agent in Canada "was able to identify Turner as someone attempting to communicate with a minor on a social media platform," the release said.


Canadian officials turned the investigation over to US authorities after concluding Turner had sent multiple pornographic images to a person he believed to be a 13-year-old girl.


"Investigation revealed that Turner was an employee of a government contractor and was using a computer physically located on Hurlburt Field (in Okaloosa County) to communicate with minors," the release said.


Warrants were issued for Turner’s residence and for his computer on Hurlburt Field. During a search investigators seized several electronic devices that together contained approximately 115 images of child pornography, including some depicting sexual abuse of toddlers, the release said.


"This child predator thought he was grooming a young girl for exploitation and abuse, but law enforcement worked together to put a stop to his crimes," said K. Jim Phillips, a special agent in charge of the investigation. "This investigation highlights the importance of government agencies’ partnerships making our communities safer for everyone."


Turner was indicted March 19, records indicate.