News and Press Releases

PORT ST. LUCIE MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO PRODUCTION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 25, 2010

Jeffrey H. Sloman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida and Anthony V. Mangione, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Office of Investigations, and Donald L. Shinnamon, Sr., Chief, Port Saint Lucie Police Department, announced today that the defendant, James T. Byrne, 70, pled guilty to production of child pornography, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, §2251(a).

The defendant faces a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen (15) years up to a maximum of thirty (30) years imprisonment, to be followed by a mandatory minimum term of supervised release of five (5) years up to life, a $250,000 fine and a $100 special assessment. The defendant is scheduled for sentencing before the Honorable K. Michael Moore on June 7, 2010.

According to court documents and statements made in court, from at least July 1, 2009, and continuing through on or about September 26, 2009, the defendant engaged in sexual activity with a 12 year old mentally handicapped child with an approximate IQ of 55 for the purpose of producing visual images of that sexual activity. The defendant took photographs of the sexual activity using two (2) digital cameras he owned and then transferred the images of sexual activity onto his computer. A forensic examination of the defendant’s computer recovered over 300 images of child pornography involving the minor child.

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.

Mr. Sloman commended the investigative efforts of ICE’s Office of Investigations in Ft. Pierce and the Port Saint Lucie Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer C. Millien.

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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.

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