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Press Release

Largo Man Sentenced To Four Years In Federal Prison For Viewing Child Sexual Abuse Videos And Images Using The “Dark Web”

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday has sentenced Benjamin McKenzie (42, Largo) to four years in federal prison for possessing child sexual abuse videos and images. He was also sentenced to a 20-year term of supervision and ordered to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison.

McKenzie pleaded guilty on November 28, 2017.      

According to court documents, FBI agents began an online undercover investigation to identify individuals who were using a particular anonymizing website on the “dark web” to access and download images and videos depicting child pornography. Further investigation revealed that McKenzie had accessed child pornography on this website between September 2014 and March 2015. FBI agents executed a search warrant at McKenzie’s residence and a forensic examination of his computer revealed that it contained at least 400 videos and 100 images depicting children being sexually abused, as well as evidence that McKenzie had downloaded child pornography over the Internet.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer L. Peresie.

It is another case 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 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 individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated February 15, 2018

Project Safe Childhood