Federal Jury Finds Sumter County Man Guilty
Of Transporting and Possessing Child Pornography
Ocala, Florida - U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces that a federal jury yesterday found Aaron P. Winchester (36, WIldwood) guilty of transporting and possessing child pornography. Winchester faces a mandatory minimum of five years in federal prison up to a maximum penalty of thirty years in federal prison. His sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.
Winchester was indicted on August 11, 2011.
According to court documents, on February 05, 2009, agents and officers of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Sumter County Sheriff's Office executed a federal search warrant at Winchester's residence in Wildwood. HSI seized a desktop computer and a laptop computer and conducted forensic examinations of the computers.
According to the evidence and testimony introduced at trial, materials found on the desktop computer included approximately 400 images that constituted child pornography, and included approximately 60 videos containing child pornography. Chat logs found on the computer included discussions of sexual abuse of young children, and included instances where pictures of children being sexually abused were exchanged over the Internet. One particular chat log found on Winchester's computer, and the child pornography that was sent during that chat, were also found on a computer seized in another investigation that took place in Connecticut and New York.
The 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 (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov and click on the tab "other resources."
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations , the Sumter County Sheriff's Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Samuel Armstrong.