Long Island Man Charged with Interstate Transportation of Child Pornography
Prosecution Results from “Project Safe Childhood” Task Force
A federal complaint was unsealed this morning charging CHRISTOPHER AQUINO with Interstate Transportation of Child Pornography.1 AQUINO was arrested earlier today, and his initial appearance is scheduled this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Arlene R. Lindsay, at the U.S. Courthouse in Central Islip, New York.
The case was announced by Roslynn R. Mauskopf, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Kenneth Pleasant, Resident Agent-in-Charge, United States Secret Service, Melville, New York Office, and New York State Police Acting Superintendent Preston L. Felton.
The complaint alleges that on January 15, 2006 and again on February 1, 2007, AQUINO, using the screen names “email@example.com” and “firstname.lastname@example.org,” respectively, uploaded numerous images of child pornography to a Yahoo!, Inc. (“Yahoo”) Internet group. According to the complaint, this child pornography was discovered and reported by Yahoo to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children via the Cyber Tipline.
An investigation was begun by New York State Police and the United States Secret Service, members of the Project Safe Childhood Task Force, in cooperation with the New York State Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC). The joint investigation led to the execution of a search warrant at AQUINO’s residence in Levittown, New York on March 14, 2007 and the seizure of a computer that contained numerous still image and video files depicting children engaged in sexually explicit activity. According to the complaint, AQUINO admitted having used his home computer for the past five to six years to upload and download pictures and movies of young boys and young girls having sex, or in sexual positions.
“Distribution of images of child pornography via the Internet perpetuates the abuse of children,” stated United States Attorney Mauskopf. “We will not tolerate this conduct.” Ms.Mauskopf thanked the New York State ICAC Task Force for its assistance in this investigation.
U.S. Secret Service Resident Agent-in-Charge Pleasant stated, “Together with our partners in the law enforcement community, the Secret Service conducts these types of investigations to identify and apprehend those individuals suspected of possession, distribution, and trafficking of child pornography. We will continue to focus on crimes that have such a significant impact on the community.”
New York State Police Acting Superintendent Felton stated, “Anyone assisting with the acts of child predators, such as those involved in child pornography, need to know that they will be scrutinized by multi-jurisdictional police task forces specifically targeting their illicit activities. Children need to be protected, not preyed upon. This arrest clearly demonstrates that child pornography crimes will not be tolerated.”
Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative, was created in February 2006 to protect children from on-line exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better investigate, 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.
The Cyber Tipline is a reporting mechanism for cases of child sexual exploitation, including child pornography, online enticement of children for sex acts, molestation of children outside the family, sex tourism of children, child victims of prostitution, and unsolicited obscene material sent to a child. Reports may be made 24-hours a day, 7 days a week online at www.cybertipline.com, or by calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).
If convicted, AQUINO faces a minimum sentence of five years’ imprisonment, a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, federal sex offender registration, a life term of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Allen L. Bode.
Name: CHRISTOPHER AQUINO
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