Middletown Man Sentenced to 18 Months in Federal Prison for Possessing Child Pornography
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that PAUL HUBBARD, 27, of Middletown, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden in Bridgeport to 18 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for possessing child pornography.
According to court documents and statements made in court, this matter stems from “Operation Pacifier,” an FBI investigation into Playpen, a global online forum through which registered users advertised, distributed and accessed child pornography. On February 20, 2015, the FBI seized a computer server hosting Playpen from a webhosting facility in North Carolina. Pursuant to a federal court order in the Eastern District of Virginia, the website operated under FBI supervision February 20 to March 4, 2015. During that time, the FBI collected information to identify members of Playpen.
Playpen had more than 150,000 members who created and viewed tens of thousands of postings related to child pornography. Images and videos shared through the site were highly categorized according to victim age and gender, as well as the type of sexual activity. The site also included discussion forums that included tips for grooming victims and avoiding detection.
The FBI determined that a user name connected to an IP address operating at HUBBARD’s Middletown residence had accessed Playpen for approximately 13 hours during the monitoring period. On July 16, 2015, the FBI searched HUBBARD’s residence and seized two laptop computers and two external hard drives. Forensic analysis of the computers and hard drives revealed approximately 354 videos and 6,851 images of child pornography, including images and videos of prepubescent minors and images and videos that portrayed sadistic or masochistic conduct.
HUBBARD was arrested on July 16, 2015. On July 5, 2016, he pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography.
This prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which is aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacabed Rodriguez-Coss.
To report cases of child exploitation, please visit www.cybertipline.com.