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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 8, 2018

Shelton Man Sentenced to 5 Years in Federal Prison for Downloading Child Pornography from the Dark Web

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MICHAEL HULL, 61, of Shelton, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to 60 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for possessing child pornography.

According to court documents and statements made in court, a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) operation revealed that HULL was accessing the dark web to search for, view and download child pornography.  On May 31, 2017, HSI agents and Shelton Police officers conducted a court-authorized search of HULL’s Shelton residence and seized approximately 16 electronic devices, including computers and external hard drives.  Forensic analysis of the seized devices revealed 13 images and 126 videos of child pornography, including many images and videos depicting children younger than 12 engaged in sexually explicit conduct.  Among the items seized were two encrypted tablets and an encrypted hard drive that could not be searched.

The investigation also revealed that HULL had a video camera installed in his bathroom.  The camera was connected to a VCR that captured images of individuals, including children, who used his bathroom.  Agents located and seized several VHS tapes containing these recordings in the home.

HULL has been detained since his arrest on May 31, 2017.  On January 30, 2018, he pleaded guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography.

As part of the sentence, pursuant to the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, Judge Underhill ordered HULL to pay a special assessment of $5,000, which is used to fund victim services.

This matter was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Shelton Police Department and the Connecticut Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacabed Rodriguez-Coss.

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.

To report cases of child exploitation, please visit www.cybertipline.com.

Topic(s): 
Cyber Crime
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated June 8, 2018