FORMER STAMFORD RESIDENT SENTENCED TO 14 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR DISTRIBUTING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JUAN CARLOS MELENDEZ, 33, a citizen of Peru last residing in Stamford, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to 168 months of imprisonment, followed by a lifetime term of supervised release, for distributing child pornography.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on March 2, 2010, agents with the Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force conducted a court-authorized search of MELENDEZ’s Stamford residence and seized computer components, including an external hard drive. On that date, MELENDEZ told agents that he had approximately 90 gigabytes of images and videos of child pornography. Subsequent forensic analysis of the computer components revealed more than 17,000 images and 370 videos of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The images and videos contained depictions of prepubescent minors engaged in sexually explicit activity, and depictions of sadistic and masochistic conduct involving minors. Thousands of the images and videos depicted infants and toddlers being sexually abused by adult males.
Forensic review also confirmed that MELENDEZ shared child pornography with others through a peer-to-peer file sharing program.
MELENDEZ was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $3,500 each to two victims whose images he possessed.
MELENDEZ has been detained since his arrest on November 22, 2010. On April 18, 2012, he pleaded guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography.
MELENDEZ faces deportation proceedings after he serves his prison term.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force, which includes federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The Stamford Police Department provided valuable assistance to the investigation. The case was 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. 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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