STUART RESIDENT SENTENCED FOR TRANSPORTATION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY VIA THE INTERNET
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Anthony V. Mangione, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations, Miami Field Office, and Robert L. Crowder, Martin County Sheriff, announced the June 28, 2010 sentencing of Brian James Keith, of Stuart, in Martin County, to 121 months imprisonment, followed by a life term of supervised release as a sex offender, by the Honorable United States District Court Judge Donald L. Graham.
On April 4, 2010, Brian James Keith pleaded guilty to one count of transportation of child pornography, in violation of 18 USC 2252(a)(1). Keith faced a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years and up to the statutory maximum of twenty years, followed by sex offender supervised release of a minimum of five years to up to life.
According to the stipulated factual basis in support of the guilty plea, on February 2, an ICE special agent located in Ft. Pierce conducted an Internet investigation into the international trafficking of child pornography via Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks. During the investigation, several images depicting minor children engaged in sexually explicit conduct were downloaded from Internet Protocol (IP) address 184.108.40.206. A check of the American Registry for Internet Numbers revealed the IP address was registered to Comcast Cable Communications, Inc., and the account holder was identified as Brian Keith, with a service address of 1050 SE Letha Circle, Apartment #7, Stuart, Florida.
The defendant was subsequently interviewed by Detectives from the Martin County Sheriff’s Office and he admitted using P2P computer software on the Internet to download child pornography. Keith advised he used special “keywords” (search terms) known to be connected to child pornography to locate various files. Several of the files downloaded during the investigation had known child pornography logos embedded in the image.
During a forensic examination of Keith’s tower computer, over two hundred deleted images depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct were recovered. The P2P software was found to be in the sharing mode, which enabled any online user to download from the shared files on Keith’s computer.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by 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 better 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, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations in Ft. Pierce, and the Martin County Sheriff’s Office for their work on this case. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carmen Lineberger.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.