WASHINGTON – Nine men have been indicted in the Western District of Virginia for allegedly conspiring to receive, distribute, possess and access with intent to view child pornography, Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy of the Western District of Virginia and Assistant Director Gordon M. Snow of the FBI’s Cyber Division, announced today.
An indictment returned under seal on Jan. 25, 2012, and unsealed today, charges Jesse Leon Coleman, 47, of Lynchburg, Va.; Thomas Syfor, 71, of Bethlehem, Pa.; Matthew Ackerman, 49, of Bethlehem, Pa.; Peter Franklin Ortiz, 56, of Greenville, S.C.; Manuel Antonio Mares, 56, of Miami; Jeremy Hart Yost, 25, of West Bend, Ore.; Richard Phillip Allen, 65, of Redondo Beach, Calif.; and James Calvin Boyd, 58, of Pell City, Ala., with one count of conspiring to receive, distribute, possess and access with the intent to view child pornography. Coleman is also charged with one count of receiving child pornography and one count of accessing with intent to view child pornography. The ninth defendant, known as “Andy Danilov,” is believed to reside in Russia.
Coleman, Ortiz, Yost and Boyd were arrested yesterday, and Allen self-surrendered to authorities yesterday. Syfor, Ackerman and Mares were arrested at earlier dates.
According to the indictment, beginning in August 2010, Danilov distributed emails to a group of individuals, including the defendants, that allegedly contained links to compressed files and file attachments depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Danilov often used the screen name “Cinemaboy” in the emails.
If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and lifetime supervised release on the conspiracy count. In addition, Coleman faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and lifetime supervised release on the receipt count and 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and lifetime supervised release on the access count.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the FBI Innocent Images Operations Unit. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy Healey of the Western District of Virginia and Trial Attorney Chantel Febus of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
An indictment is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. Defendants are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.