United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
Former Tracy Man Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Sharing Child Pornography
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
Monday, December 3, 2012
Docket #: 2:11-CR-536 WBS
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Christopher J. Tonkin, 38, of Brentwood, formerly of Tracy, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb to five years in prison, to be followed by 10 years of supervised release, for receipt and sharing of child pornography, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, between March 24, 2008 and February 11, 2011, Tonkin received visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Among the files were images and movies with file names that described sex with 12- and 13-year-old boys. On February 16, 2011, agents executed a search warrant at Tonkin’s house. They found an external hard drive that was connected to a desktop computer that Tonkin had used to store images of child pornography downloaded through a file-sharing network. A forensic examination of the external hard drive found that it contained more than 50,000 images and more than 5,000 videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. As part of the file-sharing network, Tonkin also made his collection of images available to other collectors to upload in exchange for their images and videos.
This case was the product of an investigation by the California Department of Justice, and the Sacramento Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. The Sacramento ICAC is a federally and state funded task force managed by the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department comprised of agents from federal, state, and local agencies. The purpose of the Sacramento ICAC is to investigate online child exploitation crimes, including child pornography, enticement, and sex trafficking.
This case was 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. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about Internet safety education.