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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

Monday, June 15, 2015

Zephyrhills Man Sentenced To 7 Years In Federal Prison For Receiving Child Pornography

Tampa, FL – U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington has sentenced Aaron Bicknell (28, Zephyrhills) to seven years in federal prison for receiving child pornography. The Court also ordered him to serve a life term of supervision and to register as a sex offender following his release from prison. Bicknell pleaded guilty on March 18, 2015.

According to court documents, Bicknell used an Internet file sharing program to download child pornography. After a search warrant was executed at his residence, he was found to be in possession of more than 3,500 images depicting child pornography, including more than 150 images depicting sadomasochistic conduct.

“It is disturbing that this predator had thousands of images depicting horrible crimes against children,” said Susan L. McCormick, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Tampa. “HSI will continue to work with our state and local partners, like the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, making our communities safer.”

“Each one of Bicknell’s movies and photographs represents a child who has been sexually abused,” said FDLE Tampa Bay Special Agent in Charge Rick Ramirez. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to aggressively investigate these types of cases.”

"It is critical that we continue to proactively go after these individuals because their criminal acts perpetuate the exploitation of kids and can be linked to the issue of human trafficking of children," said Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco.

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer L. Peresie.

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 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 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.

Project Safe Childhood
Updated June 16, 2015