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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 30, 2012

Roanoke Man Pleads Guilty To Child Pornography Charges

Patrick Ragan Admits To Distributing Images Of Child Pornography

ROANOKE, VIRGINIA -- A 40-year-old Roanoke man pleaded guilty this morning in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Roanoke to a charge related to the distribution of child pornography.

Patrick S. Ragan, 40, of Roanoke, Va., waived his right to be indicted and pled guilty today to a one count Information charging him with distributing child pornography.

“Individuals like Mr. Ragan who possess and distribute images of child pornography drive the demand for further abuse by creating a market for this vile material,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “The United States Attorney’s Office will continue to prosecute those who produce these disturbing images, as well as individuals like Mr. Ragan who spread this filth to others via the internet.”

The case against Ragan began when an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, acting in an undercover capacity, observed the defendant on a popular peer-to-peer file sharing network on the internet making available images that appeared to be child pornography.

After making direct contact with the defendant’s computer, the undercover agent downloaded eleven files that he determined depicted minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The agent had at least eight subsequent undercover sessions with Ragan during which child pornography was obtained.

After obtaining a search warrant for Ragan’s home, FBI agents discovered the defendant to be in possession of at least 600 images of child pornography, child bondage and child abuse videos, including spanking videos.

Ragan admitted today in District Court that he traded child pornography images over peer-to-peer file sharing networks on the internet.

At sentencing, the defendant faces a maximum possible penalty of 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Virginia Attorney General’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Charlene Day and Special Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Johnstone of the Virginia Attorney General’s Office are prosecuting the case for the United States.

Updated April 14, 2015