A Rockfield man charged with federal sex crimes has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric exam to determine his competency to stand trial.
Mark Allen Johnson, 29, faces charges of distribution of child pornography, attempted enticement and attempted transfer of obscene material to a minor.
Johnson’s court-appointed attorney, federal public defender Pat Bouldin, filed a motion May 18 to have Johnson evaluated, noting that Johnson has bipolar disorder, is taking prescribed medication for mental health reasons and has suffered from seizures and attempted suicide.
Bouldin said in the motion he has learned that Johnson has also been hospitalized in the past for psychiatric conditions and attended out-patient treatment, also expressing concern that symptoms may persist to a degree that Johnson cannot assist in his own defense.
U.S. District Court Chief Judge Greg Stivers issued an order Thursday directing Johnson to be evaluated.
Johnson was arrested following an undercover investigation in which an FBI agent posed as a juvenile on an online dating app.
A federal criminal complaint lists a series of sexually explicit messages attributed to Johnson that were sent to the undercover agent from Dec. 3 to Feb. 10.
During a Feb. 9 exchange, Johnson and the agent, whose posed as a 15-year-old named “Becca,” agreed to meet the next day for sex, with Johnson saying he would pick her up from her house and take her to a hotel, according to the criminal complaint.
FBI agents did not observe Johnson at the place where he agreed to meet with “Becca” on Feb. 10, but were able to establish through investigation that the profile used to message the undercover agent was associated with Johnson, according to the criminal complaint.
Law enforcement obtained Johnson’s driver’s license photo and compared it with the profile pictures used on the dating application and other photos sent to “Becca” during chats.
“It appears that the suspect is not using his real photos and may actually be using the photos of other unknown individuals,” FBI Special Agent Bradley Smith said in the criminal complaint.
On Feb. 13, agents executed a federal search warrant at Johnson’s Rockfield home, finding him asleep in his bed, court records show.
Agents seized multiple cellphones and other devices from Johnson’s residence, and he claimed ownership of the devices.
On Feb. 14, the FBI was contacted by a detective with a police agency in a Georgia city and said she had posed as a 13-year-old named “Peyton” during an investigation and had been chatting online with a person from Rockfield claiming to be a 23-year-old named “Jonathan.”
“During these covert conversations, suspect discusses traveling to Georgia to have sex with Peyton,” Smith said in the complaint.
On Feb. 4, the suspect sent a video of suspected child pornography to “Peyton,” according to the complaint.