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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 23, 2019

North Highlands Man Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison For Possessing Child Pornography

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Today, U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb sentenced William Lamar Blessett, 40, of North Highlands, to 20 years in prison for possession of child pornography, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced. The 20-year sentence includes 18 years for Blessett’s December 5, 2018, jury trial conviction, and an additional 2 years for violating his terms of supervised release. Particularly, while on federal supervised release for a 2008 child pornography conviction, Blessett was caught and convicted again in this case for possessing child pornography.

According to evidence presented during a two-day trial in December 2018, between mid-2016 and October 2017, Blessett possessed over 2,000 electronic images and videos of child pornography in a Dropbox cloud storage account and on at least five electronic devices, including a laptop computer, two smartphones, and two tablet computers. Blessett possessed these images knowing that at least some of them showed minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Blessett accessed the pornographic images on the internet, at least in part by using links he obtained on an instant messenger application called Kik. 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.

During sentencing, Judge Shubb also relied on additional evidence showing that Blessett was using the internet to contact and communicate with minors. This evidenced showed that Blessett engaged in online communications with several minors and encouraged them to exchange sexually suggestive messages.

This case was 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 prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 
2:18-cr-033 WBS
Updated September 23, 2019