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FORT WALTON BEACH MAN ARRESTED FOR THE DISTRIBUTION AND POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 4, 2011

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Branden M. Scott, 29, of Fort Walton Beach, appeared in federal court this morning on a criminal complaint, following his arrest for the possession and distribution of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Pamela C. Marsh, Northern District of Florida.

The criminal complaint, on which an arrest warrant was issued, alleges that during the past month Scott utilized the Internet to share hundreds of graphic images of prepubescent children engaged in sexual activity. A federal search warrant was executed on Scott’s residence at the time of his arrest. The criminal complaint alleges that Scott was online at the time law enforcement officers entered the residence.

Scott is scheduled for a detention hearing on February 7, 2011, before United States Magistrate Judge Miles Davis.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched by the Department of Justice in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

The investigative work giving rise to the search and arrest warrants was done by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Pensacola Police Department, the Ft. Walton Beach Police Department and the Boynton Beach Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David L. Goldberg.

A criminal complaint is merely a preliminary charge. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until indicted by a federal grand jury and proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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