He dropped off a hard drive with child porn on it. Now he’s headed to prison

A Kent man whose pedophilia was uncovered after he dropped off his a hard drive at a Gig Harbor shop last year was sentenced last week to more than five years in prison.

Thomas Carroll Johnson, 65, pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of first-degree possession of child pornography in Pierce County Superior Court. In exchange, two other child pornography possession charges were dropped, and a first-degree child molestation charge was lowered to sexual exploitation.

Johnson will serve 61 months in prison, and will be required to undergo sex offender treatment.

Johnson dropped off a hard drive for data recovery at a Gig Harbor computer shop in June 2016, where workers found child pornography on it.

Pierce County sheriff’s deputies got a search warrant for the hard drive, finding photos of a girl from 2004 and 2008 in which a distinctive ring and wristwatch were visible.

Deputies found an identical ring and watch in Johnson’s home, as well as another hard drive with more than 200 videos, including child pornography, and more photos of the girl in which the ring is visible.

Deputies contacted the girl in the photos, who is now an adult, and she said she didn’t remember the photographs, or being molested by Johnson.

Kenny Ocker: 253-597-8627, @KennyOcker