judge hands down lengthy sentence to repeat child pornographer
PHILADELPHIA - Thaddeus Vaskas, 50, of Tunkhannock PA, was sentenced today to 14 years in prison for one count of possession of child pornography. Vaskas pleaded guilty to that charge on March 21, 2013. Vaskas is a repeat offender, having been sentenced to 20 months in prison for a 2001 conviction for possession of child pornography. Agents with the Department of Homeland Security searched the home in Bethlehem, PA, where he was living in 2007, and found multiple images of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct on his computer.
In addition to the prison term, U.S District Court Judge Harvey Bartle, III, ordered Vaskas to pay a a special assessment of $100, and ordered 15 years of supervised release.
Vaskas is tied to “Operation Emissary.” This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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 to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Paul G. Shapiro.
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, EASTERN DISTRICTof PENNSYLVANIA
Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
PATTY HARTMAN, Media Contact, 215-861-8525