POLITICS IN ST JOHNS

Guilty plea received in St Johns child porn case

April 3, 2014 | By More

prevent-child-abuse-awarenessAlthough no sentencing date has been set, yesterday, St Johns County resident 23-year-old Christopher Scott O’Brien, II, entered a plea of guilty to charges that he was engaged in receiving child pornography over the Internet. He is facing a mandatory minimum penalty of 5 years, up to 20 years in federal prison, and a potential life term of supervision.

United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III informed Historic City News that an agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in Jacksonville began an undercover Internet crime investigation to identify individuals in that area who had access to or were trading images and videos depicting child pornography.

The agent determined that a computer in the area was hosting images of child pornography using a particular peer-to-peer file sharing program. The agent made successful connections to the host computer and successfully downloaded several video files depicting child pornography directly from the host computer. Further investigation revealed that the subscriber information traced back to O’Brien’s residence in St. Johns, Florida.

On February 26, 2013, FBI agents and other officers executed a search warrant at O’Brien’s residence and seized, among other things, several computers and other items of electronic media. O’Brien was at the residence and told the agents that he uses the same file sharing program as the one detected by the undercover agent. He stated that he only downloads videos and believed that he had four or five videos of child pornography on his computer, which he repeatedly watched and saved. He added that the children depicted in his collection of child pornography ranged from 8 to 15 years of age.

A subsequent analysis of O’Brien’s computer revealed that it contained approximately 838 videos, at least 50 of which depicted minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

This case was investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown. It is another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

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Category: HistoricCity 9-1-1

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