News and Press Releases


WEDNESDAY - December 9, 2009



NEW BERN - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court today Chief United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced LAURENCE DAVID CLIFTON,43, Fayetteville, North Carolina, to 178 months’ imprisonment followed by a life term of supervised release. Restitution was also imposed in the amount of $20,000.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on June 18, 2009. On September 9, 2009, CLIFTON pled guilty to receipt of child pornography.

This investigation is the result of an undercover nation-wide operation, searching peer-to-peer networks for child pornography, known as Operation Peer Precision. A search warrant was obtained when an IP address was identified belonging to CLIFTON’s girlfriend. The search, conducted on April 11, 2008, uncovered an external hard drive.

A forensic examination of the external hard drive revealed a large quantity of lengthy videos depicting pre-pubescent children in sado-masochistic conduct. In addition, to the videos, the computer contained hundreds of images of child pornography.

Mr. Holding commented, “We appreciated the sentence imposed by the Court. Here the defendant possessed numerous videos and photographs showing the sexual abuse of children; abuse that must stop and must not be repeated. Sadly, the Court’s sentence is powerless, in the world of computers and instant communication, to restore these victims fully. These images will live on for beyond the 178-month sentence the Court imposed.”

This case was part of the Project Safe Childhood initiative, a national program aimed at ensuring that criminals exploiting children are effectively prosecuted by making full use of all available law enforcement resources at every level. For more information about this important national project, Project Safe Childhood, go to

Investigation of this case was conducted by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Fayetteville Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney David Bragdon represented the government.

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at within 48 hours of release.

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