According to court documents, in about November 2018, a complainant knowledgeable of SCAFIDEL’s actions reported to Special Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation that SCAFIDEL possessed electronic storage devices that contained files depicting the sexual exploitation of children. After further investigation, the FBI executed a search warrant at SCAFIDEL’s residence in Ponchatoula, Louisiana on December 4, 2018. During the execution of the search warrant, SCAFIDEL possessed a leather pouch that contained, among other items, two electronic storage devices that contained files depicting the sexual exploitation of children. Subsequent forensic analysis determined that SCAFIDEL used computers and external hard drives to search for, download, and store child pornography. In total, SCAFIDEL downloaded and saved at least 22,334 images depicting the sexual victimization of children, including children less than one year old. Among the files SCAFIDEL searched for, downloaded, and stored were some that portrayed “sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence.” Specifically, at least one image portrayed the sexual penetration of a conscious, bound prepubescent female.
If convicted, SCAFIDEL faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five (5) years and a maximum term of imprisonment of twenty (20) years, followed by up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. He can also be required to register as a sex offender. Sentencing before Judge Fallon has been scheduled for April 16, 2020, at 2:00 pm.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys= Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in investigating this matter, with support from the Louisiana State Police. Assistant United States Attorney Jordan Ginsberg is in charge of the prosecution.