Georgia Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Charge of Receiving Child Pornography
Jacksonville, Florida - United States Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announced that Alfredo Roberto Townsend (48, Columbus, Georgia) today pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, in Jacksonville, to a federal charge of receiving child pornography over the internet. Townsend faces a mandatory minimum sentence of at least 5 years and up to 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, and a potential life term of supervised release. The plea agreement also requires Townsend to forfeit a computer and other digital media. Townsend has been in custody since his arrest on May 3, 2011, in Jacksonville.
According to court documents, in February 2011, an undercover officer with the Office of the Florida Attorney General connected to the internet, to identify individuals using a particular computer network sharing files containing child pornography. For several weeks during February and March 2011, the undercover officer was able to track a computer that was sharing files containing child pornography belonging to Townsend. During this period, the computer was using different internet connections at several locations, including Townsend’s permanent residence in Columbus, Georgia, his residence in an apartment complex on Kernan Boulevard in Jacksonville, and a temporary housing unit on Robins Air Force Base, in Georgia.
On May 3, 2011, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Townsend’s apartment residence on Kernan Boulevard in Jacksonville. During an interview, Townsend indicated that he traveled to Georgia about every two weeks, and admitted to using other unsecured wireless networks. Agents showed Townsend a calendar indicating the dates and times of his online activity. Townsend admitted that he started downloading child pornography out of “sick curiosity.” When asked as to how long he had been downloading child pornography, Townsend admitted to downloading child pornography prior to the middle of 2009. When asked what ages of children he preferred to view, he stated that there were images of children as young as one year old and up to fifteen years old on his computer and admitted that he primarily looks at prepubescent children.
A search of Townsend’s laptop computer revealed that it contained 27 images and 245 videos of child pornography, all downloaded during the period from August 27, 2009 to May 3, 2011.
This case was investigated by the former Child Predator Cybercrime Unit of the Florida Attorney General’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, and the Warner Robins Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.
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 (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."