WASHINGTON, D.C. - Bruce A. Schiffer, 34, of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty in Federal District Court today to one count each of using his computer to advertise, transport, receive and possess child pornography, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and Kenneth L. Wainstein, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, announced today. During the plea hearing, Schiffer admitted to charges contained in an indictment handed down on June 9, 2005. The indictment alleged that Schiffer advertised, transported, received and possessed the child pornography that forms the basis for the charges. By operating his personal computer as a file server, Schiffer allowed selected files to be downloaded and uploaded by the public from and to his computer respectively. He also advertised on specified internet relay chat (IRC) channels a willingness to receive or distribute files. Schiffer advertised his file server on the “100%preteenboysexpics” IRC channel, making available to the public a collection of approximately 11,000 image and movie files of child pornography and erotic depictions of children over the course of about five months beginning on or about Sept. 1, 2004 and continuing until on or about Jan.14, 2005. Among the items seized from Schiffer’s bedroom pursuant to a search warrant, were several computers; a large quantity of storage media, including videotapes, CDs, DVDs and floppy disks, a clown suit; and two boxes of catalogued correspondence between Schiffer and roughly 160 prison inmates, the vast majority of whom had either sexually assaulted or murdered children.
“Pedophiles who think the Internet is a safe haven for the sexual exploitation of children are dead wrong,” said Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher. “Through vigorous and vigilant law enforcement efforts, we will find and punish those who prey on our nation’s youth. The Department of Justice will devote every resource to eradicating the victimization of children wherever it occurs.”
U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Wainstein stated, “It is chilling to consider the number of young children who were exploited and degraded in the production of the obscene images on the defendant's file server. Today's conviction puts pedophiles on notice that we will stop at nothing in our effort to incarcerate and severely punish those who would ruin the lives of our children to satisfy their sexual perversions.” The indictment and guilty plea were the result of an investigation by the FBI, the Pennsylvania State Police, the High Tech Investigative Unit of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section at the Criminal Division, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.
Schiffer faces a 15-year mandatory minimum and a 30-year mandatory maximum sentence for advertising child pornography and a five-year mandatory minimum sentence for transporting and receiving. Under the federal sentencing guidelines, he faces a likely sentence of 262 to 327 months in prison. The government is seeking the forfeiture of the computer equipment allegedly used to commit these crimes.
The sentencing date will be February 9, 2006, before the Honorable Paul L. Friedman.