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'Santa' gets 30 years in prison for making child porn

Posted August 30

Leander Dewey Jones walks into a Wake County courtroom on June 1, 2015, to face child pornography charges.
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— A Raleigh man who worked as a Santa Claus for hire was sentenced Tuesday to 30 years in prison for creating child pornography, according to federal authorities.

Leander Dewey Jones, 65, of 2931 Brentwood Road, pleaded guilty in May. The 30-year sentence was the maximum punishment the crime.

Jones, who worked under the name "Santa Lee Jones" and also performed at children's parties as a magician and a pirate, was arrested last year after a computer sales and repair shop found suspected child pornography on his computer.

Investigators found about 5,000 sexually explicit images on the computer, external hard drives and various CDs and disks taken from his home, authorities said.

Jones is the second member of the Triangle Santa Buddies organization to be convicted in recent years of a crime involving young people.

John Thomas "Santa John" Peters pleaded guilty in 2012 to second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and soliciting sex by computer. Authorities said he solicited teen girls online for sex.

3 Comments

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  • Clif Bardwell Aug 31, 1:59 p.m.
    user avatar

    I really wish WRAL would stop referring to this creep as Santa (even in quotes). There are thousands of people who play the part of Santa Claus in malls across the country who aren't in it for child porn. WRAL's insistence on calling him Santa only fosters a mistrust toward honourable men who portray Santas for the love of wonder they see in children's eyes.

  • Jim Williams Aug 31, 7:25 a.m.
    user avatar

    Umm Morris, have you ever been in prison, and do you see how this guy looks? This is essentially a life sentence without parole. He is going to die in there, and a pedophile is the lowest element on the totem pole. So he is going to get the XXXXXX kicked out of him while he is in there. So put down your pitchfork and torch, and quit demanding an extra 50 lbs of flesh, and maintain a Christian attitude.

  • Morris Vobserv Aug 30, 6:41 p.m.
    user avatar

    30 years is still not enough...