FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MONDAY - January 30, 2012
MANTEO, NORTH CAROLINA, MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGE
RALEIGH - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court on January 25, 2012, RAYMOND KEITH FITCHETT, 44, pled guilty before United States Magistrate Judge William A. Webb to receipt of child pornography, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252(a)(2).
According to the Criminal Indictment returned on November 21, 2011, on September 29, 2010, FITCHETT received, via the Internet, a visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The investigation revealed that in March, 2011, information was received that FITCHETT was involved in downloading child pornography from an Internet child pornography network that was the target of a nationwide Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) investigation entitled Operation Gondola. On June 22, 2011, a search warrant was obtained and executed on FITCHETT’s residence. Agents seized a desktop computer and three DVD’s. Computer forensic analysis of the items revealed 2,953 pictures and 165 videos of child pornography had been downloaded and saved.
At sentencing, scheduled for the May 8, 2012, term of court, FITCHETT faces up to 20 years imprisonment followed by up to five years of supervised release. However, if FITCHETT has had a prior conviction relating to sexual abuse or the production, possession, receipt, mailing, sale, distribution, shipment or transportation of child pornography, the penalties increase to up to 40 years imprisonment followed by up to a life-term of supervised release.
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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
Investigation of this case was conducted by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney Ethan Ontjes is prosecuting the case.