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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

Friday, November 4, 2016

Chico Man Sentenced to 17.5 Years in Prison for Child Pornography Offense

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Frank W. Coon, 51, of Chico, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. to 17 years and six months in prison for receipt of child pornography, Acting United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

A federal jury found Coon guilty of the charge on May 23, 2016, after a three‑day trial. After serving his prison sentence, Coon will be under supervision for an additional 20 years and will be required to register as a sex offender.

According to evidence presented at trial, when agents executed a search warrant in March 2012, they found Coon inside his apartment at the keyboard of a computer. That computer was later found to be filled with child pornography videos. It was ultimately determined that over the course of approximately seven months, Coon used peer-to-peer software to download 117 child pornography videos. Several videos involved the portrayal of sadistic, masochistic, and other depictions of violence, and included depictions of pre-pubescent minors.

“This defendant downloaded horrific sexual content involving small children for his own pleasure,” said Ryan L. Spradlin, special agent in charge of HSI San Francisco. “HSI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to seek out these criminals and bring them to justice.”

At sentencing, Judge Burrell stated that Coon had committed perjury when he testified in his own trial and blamed others for his actions both before and during a law enforcement search of his home in 2012. Judge Burrell observed that 17 and a half years in prison is “a long time” and that the sentence was necessary in light of the facts that were presented at trial.

This case was the product of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew G. Morris and Rosanne Rust prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit Click on the “resources” tab for information about internet safety.

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 
Updated November 4, 2016