News and Press Releases

Palm Beach County Resident Convicted for Receipt, Distribution and Possession of Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 18, 2013

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Michael B. Steinbach, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announce that Hernandez Banks, 23, of Palm Beach, was convicted yesterday on all three counts of receipt, distribution and possession of child pornography, after a six day trial before U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra.

This case stemmed from an undercover investigation into child pornography distributers who use LimeWire, a peer to peer software application. In August 2011, FBI-Houston conducted and undercover investigation that identified Banks transmitting child pornography from his West Palm Beach home using LimeWire. The FBI-West Palm Beach seized two computers from Banks’ home. The FBI analyzed the computers at their laboratory and discovered over 100 videos and images of child pornography.

Banks faces a mandatory minimum term of five years and up to a maximum term of twenty years in prison on the receipt and distribution counts. Banks faces a maximum term of ten years in prison on the possession count. Sentencing is scheduled for January 27, 2014 before U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra in West Palm Beach, Florida.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Project Safe Childhood was launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice and is 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 FBI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lothrop Morris.

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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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