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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 6, 2018

North Highlands Man Convicted of Possessing Child Pornography

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — After a two–day trial, a federal jury found William Lamar Blessett, 39, of North Highlands, guilty Wednesday of one count of possession of child pornography, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to evidence presented at trial, between mid-2016 and October 2017, Blessett possessed multiple electronic images of child pornography in a Dropbox cloud storage account and on devices including a laptop computer, two smartphones, and two tablet computers. Blessett knew these images showed minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Blessett accessed the pornographic images on the internet using links he obtained on the Kik instant messaging application. Blessett viewed the images and downloaded them to a Dropbox account that he owned and operated. Blessett then used the account to organize and view the images and transfer them to his electronic devices.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, Central Investigative Division, Hi-Tech Crimes Bureau, the Sacramento Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Grant Rabenn and Amy Hitchcock and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Artuz are prosecuting the case.

Blessett is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb on February 19, 2019. Blessett faces a minimum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum of 20 years in prison, as well as a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

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 www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about internet safety education.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 
2:18-cr-033 WBS
Updated December 6, 2018