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Press Release

California Man Sentenced to 180 Months in Prison for Receipt and Distribution of Child Pornography Relating to Online Sextortion Scheme

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

An Arvin, California, man was sentenced today to 15 years in prison for child pornography offenses related to the online sextortion of female minors, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert of the Eastern District of California.

Brian Caputo, 27, pleaded guilty to receipt and distribution of child pornography on May 16, 2016.  U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill of the Eastern District of California sentenced Caputo and also ordered him to serve 15 years of supervised release.

According to admissions made in connection with his guilty plea, between December 2008 and February 2014, Caputo received on his cell phone and by email at least one image of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct, and distributed one or more of such images to another minor in order to coerce the minor to produce additional child pornography.

The FBI investigated the case with assistance from the El Paso Police Department and the FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Tierney of the Eastern District of California and former Trial Attorney Maureen C. Cain of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) prosecuted the case.    

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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and 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

Updated November 8, 2016

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 16-1302