News and Press Releases

70 YEAR OLD DEFENDANT SENTENCED TO 30 YEARS IMPRISONMENT FOR PRODUCTION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 7, 2010

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Anthony V. Mangione, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Office of Investigations, and Donald L. Shinnamon, Sr., Chief, Port St. Lucie Police Department, announced that defendant James T. Byrne, 70, of Port St. Lucie, Fla., was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Michael Moore to 360 months imprisonment, to be followed by lifetime of supervised release as a sex offender. This was the maximum possible sentence that the court could impose. On January 25, 2010, Byrne pled guilty to a one count indictment charging him with production of child pornography.

This investigation began on October 6, 2009, when the Port St. Lucie Police Department received information that Byrne had allegedly produced child pornography at his home with a 12-year-old female victim. On October 29, 2009, ICE special agents in Ft. Pierce received a request for assistance from the Port St. Lucie Police Department and joined the investigation.

Subsequent investigation by ICE and the Port St. Lucie Police Department confirmed that from July 2009 through September 2009, the defendant engaged in sexual activity with a mentally handicapped 12-year-old child victim. According to documents filed with the court, the defendant took photographs of the sexual activity and then transferred the images of the sexual activity to his computer. ICE special agents conducted a forensic examination of the defendant’s computer, digital cameras, and camera memory cards and recovered more than 300 images of child pornography involving the minor child.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the ICE’s Office of Investigations in Ft. Pierce and the Port St. 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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