A Jefferson Parish judge on Thursday (Dec. 1) sentenced Jagon Eldridge to 25 years in prison for his conviction of possessing child pornography.
Eldridge, 49, formerly of Westwego, was convicted as charged by a Jefferson Parish jury on Nov. 9 of eight counts of possessing pornographic images involving children under age 13.
In February 2017, a special agent with the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation’s Cyber Crime Unit was conducting an undercover investigation of child pornography on the internet and uncovered illegal images that were tracked to Eldridge.
Special agents arrested Eldridge in May 2018. They searched Eldridge’s Avenue G home and obtained images and videos depicting child victims.
At trial last month, Eldridge asserted a number of defenses, including that the state could not prove that the images belonged to him. The jury, which also heard evidence of Eldridge possessing illegal images in 2010, deliberated about 45 minutes in returning with its unanimous guilty verdicts.
During the sentencing hearing on Thursday, Eldridge pleaded for mercy in a lengthy statement to the court. He asked that he be sentenced to the mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison. Possessing child pornography carries a sentencing range of 10 to 40 years in prison.
Noting that the child victims were likely asking for mercy when they were being abused, Judge Stephen Enright of the 24th Judicial District Court sentenced Eldridge to 25 years in prison on each of the eight counts. Judge Enright ran the sentences concurrently.
Eldridge also will have to register as a sex offender for 25 years after his release from prison.
Assistant District Attorney’s Piper Didier and Seth Shute prosecuted the case.