WESTLAKE MAN SENTENCED FOR POSSESSING CHILD PORN
LAKE CHARLES, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that Michael Sonnier, 32, of Westlake, La., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Patricia Minaldi to 120 months in prison and a lifetime of supervised release for possession of child pornography. He pleaded guilty August 1, 2013.
According to evidence presented at the guilty plea, law enforcement authorities detected Sonnier downloading child pornography using file sharing software. A search of the defendant’s computer and phone on October 18, 2012, revealed that he downloaded more than 26 movies of hardcore child pornography, which included sadistic material depicting prepubescent children.
Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Luke Walker prosecuted the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. 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.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Homeland Security Investigations/Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at (866) DHS-2ICE. Investigators are available at all hours to answer hotline calls. Tips or other information can also be submitted to ICE online at www.ice.gov/exec/forms/hsi-tips/tips.asp.