Possessor and Distributor of Child Pornography Sentenced to Seventeen and a Half Years
Tampa, FL - U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces that on Friday, September 30, 2011, U.S. District Judge Richard A. Lazarra sentenced Mark Ashmun Brown (52, Sarasota) to seventeen and a half years in federal prison for possession and distribution of child pornography. The court also ordered Brown to forfeit a hard drive and a HP Laptop computer which he used in committing the offenses.
Brown entered a plea of guilty to the charges on May 13, 2011.
According to court documents, Brown, using the online personas “Hardalone243", “Hardpedo” and “Hard_foryou68", distributed child pornography to various individuals over the internet. Brown’s prolific activity in distributing child pornography attracted the attention of multiple undercover investigators from various agencies who all attempted to identify the online user.
After an extensive investigation by various law enforcement agencies, agents were able to identify Brown as being “Hardalone243.” A subsequent search of the defendant’s laptop computer and external hard drive confirmed that he was using the screen name to possess and distribute child pornography using a wireless connection, primarily from onboard a yacht named “Aloan at Last,” which was moored at Marina Jack in Sarasota, Florida. Further, during a post arrest, post Miranda interview, Brown confessed to using the screen name “Hardalone243" and to possessing and distributing child pornography. A search of Brown’s laptop computer and external hard drive showed that he possessed approximately 5,641 images of child pornography and approximately 951 videos of child pornography. Additionally, a forensic analysis showed that Brown emailed child pornography to others as well, on various occasions.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was able to identify the children depicted in 158 of the child pornography videos and in 1,937 of the child pornography images. The children depicted in the child pornography images and videos lived all over United States, including Florida as well as various other countries around the world.
This case was investigated by the Police Department in Suffolk County, New York, the Police Department in Boynton Beach, Florida and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Amanda C. Kaiser.
It is also a 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.”