Boston - An Acton man was convicted today in federal court of transportation, receipt and possession of child pornography.
Chris Allen Oake, 59, of Acton and more recently Lowell, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton to transportation of child pornography, two counts of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.
Judge Gorton scheduled sentencing for May 22, 2012. Oake faces up to 20 years in prison for each count of transportation and receipt of child pornography and up to 10 years in prison on possession of child pornography, to be followed by up to lifetime supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
Had the case proceeded to trial, evidence would have proven that Oake was an active member of a private, members-only website that was largely dedicated to child pornography and child erotica. Thousands of images of child pornography and child erotica were found in well-organized folders on computer media seized from Oake.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in Boston made the announcement today. The case against Oake was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, Child Exploitation & Obscenity Section’s High Technology Investigative Unit, Massachusetts State Police and the Acton Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Yoon of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit and Trial Attorney Bonnie Kane of the Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation & Obscenity Section.
The charges against Oake were a result of “Operation Nest Egg,” an ongoing and joint investigation led by the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Operation Nest Egg, launched in Feb. 2008, targeted approximately 500 individuals located throughout the world for their involvement in an online group dedicated to trading images of child pornography.
This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In Feb. 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.