News

Elkton Man Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison for Distributing Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 6, 2012

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Eric Daniel Griffith, age 24, of Elkton, Maryland, today to five years in prison followed by 30 years of supervised release for distributing child pornography. Judge Bennett ordered that upon his release from prison, Griffith must register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Colonel Marcus L. Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; and Cecil County State’s Attorney Ellis Rollins.

According to the plea agreement, on November 25, 2010 an HSI special agent using an undercover computer downloaded 88 files containing minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct from Griffith’s internet file sharing program. HSI special agents and Maryland State Police personnel executed a search warrant at Griffith’s residence and seized a laptop and external hard disk drive which contained over 8,000 images and videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, including sadistic or other violent conduct. Griffith admitted that he had used the internet to download, view and distribute child pornography.

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 the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers. ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or its online tip form at http://www.ice.gov/exec/forms/hsi-tips/tips.asp. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended ICE HSI, the Maryland State Police and Cecil County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Judson T. Mihok, who prosecuted the case.


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