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News Release
U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island

July 14, 2011

NEWPORT MAN TWICE ARRESTED ON CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES
SENTENCED TO 90 MONTHS IN FEDERAL PRISON

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A Newport, R.I., man who was free on bail on State child pornography charges when he was arrested a second time on federal charges for downloading and distributing child pornography was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Providence to 90 months in federal prison, United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha announced. Michael E. Hodge, 55, was also sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith to lifetime supervised release after completing his prison sentence.

According to court documents and information presented to the Court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Rogers, Michael Hodge’s first arrest in May 2009 was the result of a U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement/Homeland Security Investigations (ICE) transnational investigation dubbed Operation THIN ICE. Hodge was released on bail following his arraignment in Rhode Island state court, with a condition of bail that he not have access to a computer or the Internet. The Rhode Island State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) also participated in this investigation.

In June of 2010, the ICAC Task Force, including an agent from ICE, discovered that Hodge was once again receiving and sharing child pornography over the Internet, in violation of his State bail conditions.  Hodge was arrested and charged in federal court with possession and distribution of child pornography.

Following Hodge’s first arrest, a forensic audit of his computers revealed that he possessed nearly 400 images and 11 videos containing child pornography. Following his second arrest, a forensic audit discovered more than 200 images and 24 videos containing child pornography.

The charges from both arrests were combined and adjudicated in federal court.

The Rhode Island State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is a Department of Justice grant-funded program administered by the Rhode Island State Police Computer Crimes Unit, comprised of five State Police Detectives; detectives from Providence, West Warwick and, Coventry Police departments; and an agent from U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement/Homeland Security Investigations (ICE). The objective of the RI ICAC Task Force is to form strong working relationships between federal, state and local law enforcement to effectively and efficiently prevent, detect, investigate, and prosecute online child exploitation and child pornography crimes.

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Contact: 401-709-5357
USARI.Media@usdoj.gov

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