San Bernardino Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prison for Producing Child Pornography involving 5-Year-Old
A Half-Dozen Defendants from Inland Empire Have Been in Federal Court This Year After Being Charged with Child Exploitation Crimes
LOS ANGELES – A San Bernardino man has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for production of child pornography, including sexually explicit pictures of a 5-year-old girl.
Jeremy Matthew Meyerett, 41, was sentenced yesterday by United States District Judge Virginia A. Phillips to spend the 240 months in prison. Following his release from custody, Meyerett will be on supervised release for 20 years.
Meyerett pleaded guilty in June to the production of child pornography in a case that arose from an undercover investigation by the Queensland (Australia) Police Service. According to court documents, Meyerett discussed sexually molesting a 5-year-old girl, and a subsequent search of an online account by federal law enforcement yielded child pornography depicting the young victim.
“Child exploitation offenses such as those prosecuted in these cases are a scourge on our community,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “My office will continue to protect vulnerable child victims of these heinous crimes by seeking lengthy sentences, such as the one imposed this week, for these criminals.”
This case against Meyerett was the result of a joint investigation by the Riverside Police Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Teresa Beecham, a Riverside County deputy district attorney who is also a member of the Riverside County District Attorney’s Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) team. The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office dismissed a related state case against Meyerett in favor of federal prosecution.
Meyerett is one of a half-dozen men from the Inland Empire who recently have been in federal court on charges related to child pornography. Three other defendants received sentences of at least 10 years in prison.
“The lengthy sentences given to these defendants are a gratifying outcome for the HSI special agents who work tirelessly to identify child sexual predators and bring them to justice,” said Joseph Macias, special agent in charge for HSI Los Angeles. “The sexual exploitation of children is a despicable crime and, as these sentences make clear, there are serious consequences for those convicted. HSI remains committed to working with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to aggressively pursue those who victimize the most vulnerable members of our society, our children.”
In the other Inland Empire child exploitation cases:
James Gregory O’Neill, 58, of Riverside, was sentenced on May 2 to 10 years in federal prison for his third conviction of possessing child pornography. When authorities discovered the pictures on O’Neill’s phone, he was on parole after being convicted in Riverside Superior Court of possessing matter depicting a minor in a sexual act, a crime that led to a two-year sentence. O’Neill had also been convicted in federal court in 2003 of distributing child pornography, a conviction that brought a 40-month prison sentence.
Andrew Harrison Fowler, 26, of Perris, a convicted sex offender who was convicted of having sex with minors in San Diego Superior Court, pleaded guilty on April 18 to possession of child pornography, with some of the images depicting victims younger than 10. Fowler came to the attention of law enforcement after his employer discovered that he was distributing and possessing child pornography while using a computer at his job in Corona. Fowler was sentenced by Judge Phillips on June 27 to 12 years in federal prison and a lifetime of supervised release. Fowler was on parole in the San Diego case when he committed the offense in the federal case. This case was investigated by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office Sexual Assault and Felony Enforcement/Internet Crimes Against Children Unit, which includes special agents with HSI.
Anthony Michael Scotti, 22, of Murrieta, pleaded guilty on April 4 to possession of child pornography. Scotti, who was previously convicted in Riverside Superior court of distributing lewd material to a minor, admitted that he had images on an iPod that was seized by law enforcement last August, and that he used the Kik messaging app to distribute images of children engaged in sex acts with adults. In a plea agreement, Scotti also admitted that he used text messages to convince a 15-year-old girl in another state to take sexually explicit pictures and send them to him. United States District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez is scheduled to sentence Scotti on January 23, at which time the defendant faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison, and prosecutors have recommended a sentence of 14 years. This case was investigated by HSI.
Angelo Harper Jr., 21, of Moreno Valley, was found guilty after a two-day bench trial on charges of advertising, distributing and possessing child pornography. Trial evidence included an explicit six-minute video depicting a man with a pre-pubescent boy, as well as evidence showing that Harper used the Messenger to access a chatroom for those interested in nepiophilia, which is a sexual interest in infants and toddlers. Harper “possessed 8,260 images and 520 videos of child pornography,” according to court documents. “This collection included violent depictions of the rape and assault of babies and toddlers.” Harper was sentenced in October by United States District Judge R. Gary Klausner to 235 months in federal prison. This case was investigated by HSI and the Riverside Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Task Force.
Nathan Charles Longino Barba, 21, of Rancho Cucamonga, pleaded guilty in August to possessing child pornography. Barba received images and videos depicting child pornography over the Internet. “Some of the images depicted children under two years old being used for sexual acts,” prosecutors said in court papers. “Other images of child pornography portrayed sadistic or masochistic sexual conduct involving the minor children.” Barba is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Virginia A. Phillips on January 30. Prosecutors have recommended a sentence of three years in federal prison. This case was investigated by FBI.