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Ike vs. Child Pornographers

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Thought I would pop by with an update on my latest cases. As luck would have it, the last three cases that have been charged/sentenced were child pornography cases. This depite only working on four child porn cases currently, of some 25 or so cases in total.


United States v. Brannon - The first case was a lime-wire case. Lime wire is a peer-to-peer file sharing program (like KaZaa, Napster, etc.) that is used to share files over the Internet. You install the Lime Wire software and it shares a directory on your computer with anyone else who uses Lime Wire. You can type in search terms and the software will find other Lime Wire users who are sharing files with those terms. An undercover agent searching for child pornography typed in various common search terms used in child pornography and located a number of images on a PC in my district. We applied for, and received, a search warrant and conducted a search of the defendant's residence. The defendant, who was eighteen at the time of the search, admitted that he was the owner of the computer and that he had used Lime Wire (and other P2P software) to share child pornography. Numerous images/movies containing child pornography were recovered from his PC.


Although he was 18 at the time of the search, he was only 17 at the time the undercover agent downloaded the child pornography from his computer. We do not, absent extraordinary circumstances, charge minors (under 18) with crimes. Given his age and ready admission to the crimes, we decided to charge him only with possession, and not with receipt or distribution -- each of which carry a five-year mandatory minimum prison sentence. Under the federal system, defendants are sentenced based on a set of discretionary sentencing guidelines. The Guidelines take into account the severity of the crime (both the crime generally and specific characteristics of the instant crime) and the defendant's background. In this case, the defendant's Guideline range was 51-63 months (4+ years to 5+ years). Although both the defendant's counsel and I recommended a sentence at the bottom of the Guideline range, the Judge sentenced the defendant to 36 months (3 years). Athough it was about what I expected, the Judge's rationale for departing downward was the age of the defendant and thus the low chance of recidivism, and that he did not have actual contact with minors (something that would have actually resulted in a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison were it charged). Interestingly, in the case before mine, the same Judge had departed downward for someone with a long criminal history due to his advanced age, which the Judge claimed also made him a low risk of recidivism. Whatever.


United States v. King - The next case came to us from another investigation. In the investigation their subject received blank emails from our subject and replied to those blank emails with images of child pornography. It was determined that the defendant was in our district so the case was sent to us. We applied for a search warrant for the defendant's AOL account and found images containing child pornography that the defendant had sent to others. Next, we applied for a search warant for the defendant's home. During the search, the defendant admitted trading child pornography and agents uncovered thousands of images and movies contianing child pornography on the defendants comupter (and 25 harddrives and three thumbdrives, etc.). The defendant pled guilty to one count of distribution of child pornography, with a mandatory minimum of five years in prison.


The Guidelines in this case were 87-108 months (7.5 to 9 years). Defense counsel argued for the mandatory minimum (5 years) saying that the defendant was not a pedophile, but merely a compulsive collector, who collected Matchbox cars, Star Wars cards . . . and child pornography. The Judge (different judge this time) sided with the defendant, and sentenced him to five years and no fine -- despite the fact that the probation office determined that he had sufficient money to pay the recommended fine under the Guidelines. The rationale was that there were no aggravating factors in this case -- not sure what such factors would be, as the defendant admitted that the images included pre-pubescent children and sadistic/masochistic actions. Not to mention that the images the defendant possessed included some really horrific stuff. But, as always, at the end of the day I go home and the defendant goes to jail. Hard to argue with that.


United States v. Mahoney - My last case is a Google Hello case. Google Hello (which was shutdown in May or June of this year) was a P2P file sharing and chat program. It was much like Yahoo! Messenger, MSN Messenger, or AIM, but did not go through a central server. In this case an undercover agent using Google Hello got into several chat sessions with someone claiming to be a thirty-something woman. The subject sent several images containing child pornography to the undercover. After it was determined that the subject's Google Hello account was accessed from my district, the case was transferred to me. We applied for a search warrant of the defendant's residence, which was executed earlier this year. Child pornography was recovered from the residence. However, the defendant was not home at the time of the search, and denies any wrongdoing. So we indicted him two weeks ago. Perhaps I will end up with a trial this fall.


- Ike

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And as the mom of two boys I offer to be in the reception room with my loiusville slugger to "enhance" their sentences when they report to serve them :heart:

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For the life of me I have no understanding of why viewing/storing images of child pornography is not considered as much of a heinous crime as producing the vile stuff.


A sick disgusting side of humanity.


More power to Ike and the others who try to stop this filth.


Damn the lawyers and judges who have an ounce of sympathy for any perpetrator that can defile children like these predators do!


If there is anyone in this world that I would attach the word "hate" to, its a child molester.....which is what everyone of these vermin are.



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keep it up man, those are some sick Barstewards. I have no concept of what would drive someone to do it. I don't think I could remain impartial enough to prosecute in a professional manner.


court system seems rather leniant on them too. it is a damn slippery slope they are on leading to places that will damage kids for the rest of their lives. they should come down hard and put them in general population at prisons. how about they let them go ice fishing or hunting?


what is the recitivism rate for these sickos? how often do these crimes escalate beyond the pictures?


my wife is a phd child psychologist with specialist in play therapy. this kind of stuff turns the peace loving liberal into a very angry woman. one can only suppose it is due to our kids and getting to work with abused kids.

Edited by trd
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Nice one Ike, keep up the criminal crackdown!


This from a loving grandmother of young ones. I'm afraid that I would end up on the "wrong" side of the law were this to happen to any of my grandchildren. I personally think all these "sick" b**tards should get "life" or maybe even "death" for what they do to little children. Sorry for all the hate in this but these "people" make me so angry.


Stand strong Ike, someday, maybe the justice system will "wake" up and give them what they really deserve.



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As a father of 3 children I know I would end up in a trial altogether different if this was to happen to my kids. These sick perverts need to have stiffer punishments and consequences for there actions. IMO child porn is just another form of molestation. Good job Ike on bringing these monsters down. Keep up the good work.






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Nice work Ike! I can only imagine that the kind of intensity I've known you now for years here on this site, is something that you use with ardor in your work. The writeup of what you're doing to get these guys is scary in telling how much of it is going on, and how hard we all have to work at keeping kids safe.


Glad you're here Ike


Thank you






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I really appreciate (even as the crimes them selves make me want to commit violence against the perps) beacuse I read them to my teenager... he has never had stranger fear and thinks everyone is his friend or nice (down side at time of aspergers is a disctinct loss of "street sense") so your write ups provide me with new stories to keep "teaching" the same story periodically that not all people are nice, no matter what sex, age, or where they live or what they do for a living.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I can't really understand the trend to light sentences for the people you describe. This is purely commercial, another drug, and it is the 'pushers' who create the market out of pure greed. I would give them much heavier sentences than the producers.


Makes me sicker than if I had eaten Gazpacho. :crazy:

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