News and Press Releases

MAINE RESIDENT SENTENCED TO 14 YEARS FOR TRANSPORTATION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2010

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Ric L. Bradshaw, Sheriff, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, and Michael McAuliffe, State Attorney, Palm Beach County, announced that defendant William Cote, of Maine, was sentenced on July 16, 2010 in West Palm Beach by U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra to 14 years in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release, for transportation of child pornography, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252(a)(1).

On January 6, 2010, law enforcement in Palm Beach County conducted an internet investigation into the trafficking of child pornography via peer-to-peer (P2P) networks. During this investigation, law enforcement successfully downloaded from Cote child pornography images that were being offered by Cote via this file sharing program. During this time, Cote also allowed undercover law enforcement officers in California and Canada to download from him child pornography images and videos. On January 7, 2010, the Maine State Police and the City of Portland Police Department seized Cote’s computer. A forensic examination later revealed that Cote possessed more than 2,700 images of child pornography.

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 and 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. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rinku Tribuiani.

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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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