DENVER – Robert Dean Mason, age 46, of Boulder, Colorado, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Christine M. Arguello to serve 97 months (over 8 years) in federal prison for possession of child pornography, U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer and FBI Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Calvin Shivers announced. Following his prison sentence, Mason was ordered to serve 10 years on supervised release. The defendant, who appeared at the hearing on bond, was ordered to voluntarily surrender to a facility designated by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.
Mason was first charged by Information on January 29, 2018. He pled guilty before Judge Arguello on March 21, 2018. He was sentenced on August 14, 2018.
According to court documents, including the stipulated facts in the plea agreement as well as the government’s sentencing statement, in March of 2015, a FBI-Dallas Child Exploitation Task Force Officer, utilizing an undercover internet connection, operated software capable of receiving files of child pornography from BitTorrent network. BitTorrent is a type of peer-to-peer program that allows individuals to download files from other servers. In October 2016, FBI agents in Denver learned that Mason was known through other investigations as a person who was sharing files of child exploitation material using BitTorrent. From March 21, 2016 through October 8, 2016, ten separate investigators had downloaded 94 “files of interest” from a device utilizing Mason’s home IP address.
On November 3, 2016, FBI agents received a flash drive from a Larimer County Sheriff’s Deputy who had received downloads from Mason while acting in a covert online capacity. The flash drive contained video files and log reports of files received from the defendant’s home IP address, downloaded on July 23, 2016 and September 26, 2016. On November 10, 2016, FBI agents executed a search warrant at Mason’s home. A forensic review of the digital items seized pursuant to the search warrant revealed an encrypted folder containing thousands of images of child pornography, including 4,800 video files.
“The internet can be a playground for child predators,” said U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer. “Our prosecutors, our partners at the FBI, and local law enforcement work tirelessly – with incredible technologic expertise – to find these predators and bring them to justice.”
"Combating the exploitation and victimization of children is one of the FBI's top priorities," said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Calvin Shivers. “This sentence demonstrates our commitment to ensuring those responsible for exploiting innocent children are vigorously investigated and brought to justice.”
This case was investigated by the FBI, with assistance from multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Boulder Police Department, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, and multiple divisions of the FBI. The defendant was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Valeria Spencer and Alecia Riewerts.
Spokesman, Public Affairs Specialist
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado