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November 26, 2012

Arizona Man Who Traveled to Southern California to Have Sex with Teenage Boy Sentenced to 12 Years in Federal Prison

RIVERSIDE, California – A Peoria, Arizona man who admitted that he traveled twice to Southern California to have sex with a 14-year-old boy he met on the Internet was sentenced today to 12 years in federal prison.

Michael Killala, 43, was sentenced to 144 months in prison by United States District Judge Virginia A. Phillips.

The victim’s mother spoke during today’s sentencing hearing, stating that Killala “preyed on our son for his own perverse sexual gratification.” The woman said that her son was “severely traumatized,” and that he suffered from debilitating anxiety, flashbacks, overwhelming shame, anger, loss of sleep, nightmares, severe depression and fear that Killala was going to kill him.

Killala pleaded guilty in August to two counts of possessing child pornography. Among the images in his possession, Killala possessed two images depicting one of his illicit sexual encounters with the 14-year-old victim.

According to court documents, Killala met the boy on the Internet in 2011, when the victim was 14 and living in Corona, California. Killala visited the boy in December 2011, when they had a sexual encounter. In January 2012, Killala again visited the boy, this time taking him to a hotel in Ontario, California, where he gave the victim vodka before having sex with him. Killala was arrested as he was checking out of the hotel.

A search of Killala’s mobile phone revealed more than 3,000 text messages between Killala and the boy, as well as Killala’s relationship with another teenage boy who exchanged sexually explicit photographs with Killala.

August 3, 2012

Riverside County Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Participating in a Child Pornography File Sharing Network

LOS ANGELES—A Homeland man was been sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 10 years in federal prison for his participation in a file sharing network in which members traded child pornography, announced André Birotte, Jr., the United States Attorney for the Central District of California; and Timothy Delaney, the Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Division.

George Devinna, 74, was sentenced by United States District Judge S. James Otero late Thursday, July 27, to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison. On April 2, Devinna pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography. Devinna, who has two prior federal child pornography convictions, has been in custody since his arrest in December 2011.

Devinna was charged in a criminal complaint filed on December 9, 2011, with the possession, distribution, and receipt of child pornography. During 2011, agents conducting an investigation of illegal file-sharing networks in Rochester, New York and Los Angeles uncovered several images depicting child pornography. Further investigation and subsequent Internet subscriber checks identified the distributor of the illicit images as George Devinna, with an address that matched his Homeland residence. The downloaded images linked to Devinna’s computer included sexually explicit photographs of pre-teen boys.

On December 2, 2011, a search warrant was executed at Devinna’s home, where agents found child pornography and other evidence linking Devinna to the file sharing network. Files found on Devinna’s computer included sexually explicit videos involving pre-teen boys that investigators recognized as part of a documented child pornography series.

June 24, 2012

Robert Peace is arraigned on child pornography charges in Orange County

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 6:24 pm

PEACE, ROBERT VINCENT In 2009, Peace is accused of meeting 13-year-old Jane Doe from Endicott, NY, in an Internet video-chat room on Stickam.com. He is accused of exchanging messages with the victim and instructing her to send him sexually explicit videos of herself masturbating over a two year period. After receiving the videos that he requested, Peace is accused of threatening Jane Doe that he would post the explicit videos on the Internet if she did not continue to send him new pornographic images.

Without the victim’s knowledge, the defendant is accused of posting some of the child pornography videos featuring Jane Doe online. In addition to the videos of Jane Doe, Peace is accused of being in possession of over 1,500 images and more than 300 videos of graphic, sexually explicit child pornography on his computer featuring young teenage girls. The videos include webcam footage.

The defendant was arrested Jan. 20, 2012, in a traffic stop by HBPD, ICE HSI, and OCSD.

Peace is accused of being in possession of additional images of child pornography in his home and vehicle, including images of Jane Doe. Peace is a citizen of the United Kingdom.

Peace has coached children’s recreational soccer teams.

April 13, 2012

North Hollywood Man Sentenced in Los Angeles to 20 Years in Prison for Participating in International Child Pornography Ring

A North Hollywood man was sentenced today in Los Angeles to 20 years in prison and lifetime supervised release for his participation in an international child pornography ring, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney André Birotte, Jr. of the Central District of California and Assistant Director in Charge Steve Martinez of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.

Harout Hagop Sarafian was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips. Sarafian, 27, pleaded guilty in September 2011 to one count of conspiracy to advertise child pornography. On April 2, 2012, co-defendant David Michael Fagerness, 45, of Alpharetta, Georgia, was sentenced by Judge Phillips to 15 years in prison and lifetime supervised release for one count of conspiracy to transport child pornography.

Today’s sentence is the result of an international investigation into the “Lost Boy” online bulletin board. The Lost Boy bulletin board, according to court documents and proceedings, was dedicated to men who have a sexual interest in young boys and was established to provide a forum to trade child pornography.

Federal authorities, working in conjunction with a coalition of international law enforcement agencies, shut down the Lost Boy bulletin board approximately three years ago. As a result of the investigation, 16 named defendants, including Sarafian and Fagerness, were charged in the United States and arrested for their roles in the bulletin board. To date, 15 defendants have pleaded guilty or have been convicted at trial and one defendant died in custody. Approximately six more men have been charged with child molestation as a result of the investigation. The investigation also led to the identification of 27 domestic victims of child abuse, some of whom were portrayed in images posted to the Lost Boy bulletin board.

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March 27, 2012

California Man Sentenced to 300 Months in Prison for Production and Possession of Child Pornography

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 8:06 am

WASHINGTON – Edward Lee Sullivan, of Oakland, Calif., was sentenced today to 300 months in prison for production and possession of child pornography, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag of the Northern District of California.

Sullivan, 39, was found guilty on Feb. 25, 2011, of one count of producing and one count of possessing child pornography after a 13-day bench trial before U.S. District Court Judge D. Lowell Jensen of the Northern District of California.

Evidence presented at trial showed that during a two-week period in March 2008, Sullivan trained a 14 year-old girl to work for him as a child prostitute.  During the course of those two weeks, Sullivan produced numerous photographs and videos of the minor, which documented the steps Sullivan took to prepare the girl to work as a prostitute and as an actress in pornographic movies.  According to trial evidence, Sullivan filmed at least one pornographic video of the minor, which depicted Sullivan instructing the minor as she performed oral sex on him.  At the time Sullivan committed these crimes, he was on parole following a 2002 state conviction for pimping and sexual conduct with a 14 year-old girl.

Sullivan also was sentenced today to lifetime supervised release following the completion of his prison term.

March 18, 2012

San Bernardino Middle School Teacher Arrested for Receipt and Distribution of Child Pornography

RUNNING SPRINGS, CA—A former San Bernardino middle school teacher was arrested this morning on charges he exchanged sexually explicit images online with a 13-year-old girl, announced Steven Martinez, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office; and André Birotte Jr., the United States attorney in Los Angeles. The announcement was made on behalf of multiple law enforcement agencies investigating the case in California and New Jersey.

Eugene Ballantyne, 29, of Running Springs, California, was arrested this morning without incident by FBI agents. A criminal complaint was filed in United States District Court in Riverside on Friday charging Ballantyne with receipt and distribution of child pornography, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252A(a)(2).

According to the complaint, detectives with the South Brunswick Police Department in New Jersey were contacted by a parent of a 13-year old-girl, the alleged child victim identified in the complaint as “CV,” after the parent had become aware of sexually explicit communication between the victim and Ballantyne earlier this year. South Brunswick detectives continued to investigate and contacted the FBI when their investigation revealed the victim had been corresponding with a suspect located in California.

Investigators in New Jersey and California, with the assistance of the San Bernardino School District, identified Eugene Ballantyne as the user of the phone used to communicate with the minor victim.

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March 12, 2012

Three Individuals Sentenced to Prison for Participating in International Child Pornography Ring

WASHINGTON—Three men were sentenced to prison today in Los Angeles for their participation in an international child pornography ring, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr. of the Central District of California, and Assistant Director in Charge Steve Martinez of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.

Andrew Neil Scott, 31, of Flint, Michigan, was sentenced to 30 years in prison followed by lifetime supervised release. Scott pleaded guilty on December 2, 2010 to participating in a child exploitation enterprise and two counts of production of child pornography.

Woodrow Tracy, 68, of Sun Valley, California, was sentenced to 96 months in prison followed by lifetime supervised release. Tracy pleaded guilty on September 21, 2010 to conspiracy to transport child pornography.

Justin Lee, 34, of League City, Texas, was sentenced to 66 months in prison followed by lifetime supervised release. Lee pleaded guilty on September 7, 2010 to conspiracy to advertise, receive, distribute, solicit and possess child pornography.

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March 2, 2012

California Youth Counselor Sentenced to 29 Years in Prison for Producing Child Pornography

Defendant Also Ordered to Pay $234,000 in Restitution to Victim

WASHINGTON – Thomas Perez Jewell was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Oakland, Calif., to 29 years in prison and was ordered to pay $234,000 in restitution for producing child pornography, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag of the Northern District of California and Special Agent in Charge Stephanie Douglas of the FBI’s San Francisco Field Office.

According to court documents, Jewell first came to the attention of law enforcement authorities when he was suspected of distributing and possessing child pornography.   A search of Jewell’s Pleasant Hill, Calif., apartment pursuant to a search warrant revealed evidence that Jewell had sexually molested two minor victims and photographed and videotaped his abuse.   A hard drive hidden under the mattress in Jewell’s bedroom contained thousands of images of the minor victims.   Prior to his arrest and conviction, Jewell was employed as a youth counselor and therapist in Contra Costa County, Calif.

Jewell, 54, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Dec. 9, 2010.   He was charged with production of child pornography, transportation of child pornography and possession of child pornography.   He pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography on Nov. 23, 2011.

Jewell was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton.   Judge Hamilton also sentenced the defendant to a lifetime of supervised release .   Jewell has been in custody since his arrest on Nov. 18, 2010.

January 27, 2012

Michigan Man Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Participating in Child Pornography Ring and Producing Child Pornography

RIVERSIDE, California – A Michigan man was sentenced today to 25 years in federal prison for filming his sexual abuse of a young boy and distributing a video to members of an international child exploitation enterprise.

Joshua Boras, 34, of Lapeer, Michigan, was sentenced by United States District Judge Virginia A. Phillips. In December 2010, Boras pleaded guilty to one count of participation in a child exploitation enterprise and one count of production of child pornography.

The sentencing of Boras was announced by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. and Assistant Director in Charge Steve Martinez of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.

Boras was affiliated with the “Lost Boy” online bulletin board, which according to court documents and proceedings was dedicated to men who have a sexual interest in young boys and was established to provide a forum to trade child pornography. Federal authorities, working in conjunction with a coalition of international law enforcement agencies, shut down the Lost Boy bulletin board approximately three years ago. As a result of the investigation, 16 named defendants were charged in the United States and arrested for their roles in the bulletin board. To date, 15 defendants have pleaded guilty or have been convicted at trial, and one defendant died in custody.

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November 25, 2011

California Youth Counselor Pleads Guilty to Producing Child Pornography

WASHINGTON – A Pleasant Hill, Calif., youth counselor pleaded guilty today in federal court in Oakland, Calif., to producing child pornography, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag of the Northern District of California.

Thomas Perez Jewell, 54, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton in the Northern District of California to one count of production of child pornography.

Jewell admitted to sexually molesting two minor victims and to producing child pornography of the molestation.   According to court documents, Jewell was employed as a youth counselor and therapist.   Jewell’s molestation offenses were discovered when law enforcement executed a search warrant on his residence for suspected possession of child pornography.

Jewell has been in custody since his arrest on Nov. 18, 2011.   He is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 29, 2012, before Judge Hamilton in Oakland.   At sentencing, Jewell will face a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and a maximum term of life on supervised release.   Jewell will be required to register as a sex offender in accordance with state and federal law.

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