States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|April 7, 2011||
Project Safe Childhood:
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Kimberly K. Mertz, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that RICHARD MICHAEL BELLEMARE, 62, of New Milford, was arrested today by members of the Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force on a federal criminal complaint charging him with possession of child pornography.
The criminal complaint alleges that, on September 19, 2009, a Milford Police detective assigned to the Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force logged into a publicly available Internet file sharing program and downloaded several images of child pornography from a system connected to the network from an Internet Protocol (IP) address assigned to BELLEMARE. On June 18, 2010, law enforcement officers executed a federal search and seizure warrant at BELLEMARE’s residence and seized multiple computers, an external hard drive and other computer-related materials. Subsequent analysis of the seized external hard drive has revealed approximately 100,000 images and videos of child pornography.
BELLEMARE was arrested this morning at his residence.
Following his arrest, BELLEMARE appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Thomas P. Smith in Hartford and was released on a $50,000 bond.
If convicted of the charge of possession of child pornography, BELLEMARE faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000.
U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force, which includes federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Deborah R. Slater.
The Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force investigates crimes occurring over the Internet, including computer intrusion, Internet fraud, copyright violations, Internet threats and harassment and on-line crimes against children. The Task Force also provides computer forensic review services for participating agencies. The Task Force is housed in the main FBI office in New Haven, Connecticut. For more information about the Task Force, please contact the FBI at 203-777-6311.
U.S. Attorney Fein noted that this prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which is aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
To report cases of child exploitation, please visit www.cybertipline.com.
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