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Justice News

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

Monday, November 7, 2016

Kern County Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Receipt and Distribution of Child Pornography Relating to Online Sextortion Scheme

FRESNO, Calif. — An Arvin man was sentenced today to 15 years in prison for child pornography offenses related to the online sextortion of female minors, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert of the Eastern District of California.

Brian Caputo, 27, pleaded guilty to receipt and distribution of child pornography on May 16, 2016. U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill sentenced Caputo and also ordered him to serve 15 years of supervised release.

According to admissions made in connection with his guilty plea, between December 2008 and February 2014, Caputo received on his cell phone and by email at least one image of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct and distributed one or more of such images to another minor in order to coerce the minor to produce additional child pornography.

The FBI investigated the case with assistance from the El Paso Police Department and the FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Tierney and former Trial Attorney Maureen C. Cain of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) 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

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 
Updated November 7, 2016