NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has arrested a Wilson County man accused of possessing thousands of images of child pornography.

At the request of 15th District Attorney General Tommy Thompson, TBI Special Agents began investigating John Watkins on March 14, 2013. During the course of the investigation, Agents developed information that the Lebanon man was in possession of more than 7,500 digital images and six videos that depicted minor children engaged in sexual activity. Investigators retrieved the images from a storage unit and computer equipment belonging to Watkins. The 30-year-old later gave a statement to TBI Agents and admitted to collecting and distributing the images and videos beginning in the year 2000 and continuing through 2013.

Today, the TBI secured a warrant for Watkins, charging him with one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor. This afternoon, he turned himself into the Wilson County Jail, where, at the time of this release, he was being held on a $550,000 bond. The investigation into Watkins continues, with the possibility of additional charges in the future.

John Watkins