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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 6, 2021

Previously Convicted Sex Offender Pleads Guilty to Possession of Child Pornography

Denton Man Was on Supervised Release for a Prior Federal Conviction for Distribution of Child Pornography at the Time of This Criminal Behavior

Baltimore, Maryland – Daniel Provencal, age 47, of Denton, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to possession of child pornography.  Provencal acknowledged that, at the time he committed the crime, he was on supervised release for a 2006 federal conviction for distribution of child pornography.

The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Acting Special Agent in Charge Rachel Byrd of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; and Caroline County State’s Attorney Joe Riley.

According to his guilty plea, between January and October 2020, Provencal possessed and repeatedly distributed child pornography on a social media provider, using multiple electronic devices and usernames.  Specifically, Provencal used an Internet-based messaging application to distribute depictions, including photos and videos, of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.  The child pornography included videos and images of prepubescent minors and videos and images that depicted sadomasochistic conduct. 

On January 24, 2020 and January 31, 2020, the messaging application sent CyberTips to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) reporting two usernames that had uploaded child pornography.  Investigators learned that the IP address used to login to each of the accounts was the same and was assigned to Provencal at his residence in Denton.

Law enforcement executed a search warrant at Provencal’s residence on October 15, 2020, recovering two cellphones, numerous micro SD cards, a laptop computer, notebook computer, and three tablets.  Law enforcement also seized from Provencal’s bedroom a piece of paper that had 26 account usernames and passwords listed, including the two usernames which the messaging application had reported to NCMEC.

A subsequent forensic review of Provencal’s devices revealed that they each contained child pornography.  In total, the devices contained at least 5,000 child pornography videos.  In addition, at least one video depicts sadistic or masochistic conduct, namely a prepubescent girl bound and in bondage.  The forensic review also revealed that Provencal repeatedly, on multiple devices, distributed child pornography images and videos to other users on the messaging application and engaged in explicit chats in which he discussed his sexual attraction to minors. 

As detailed in his plea agreement, upon his release from prison, Provencal must continue to register as a sex offender in the places where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). 

Provencal and the government have agreed that, if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Provencal will be sentenced to 126 months in federal prison.  Provencal also faces 12 to 18 months in prison for violating his supervised release, which may be imposed concurrent or consecutive to the sentence in this case.  U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake has not yet scheduled sentencing. 

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 Attorney’s 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 individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.  For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the "Resources" tab on the left of the page.         

Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended the FBI, the Maryland State Police, and the Caroline County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul A. Riley, who is prosecuting the federal case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md/project-safe-childhood and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Marcia Murphy (410) 209-4854
Updated May 6, 2021