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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 11, 2015

Portland Man Sentenced to Six Years on Child Pornography Charges

Contact: Benjamin M. Block
Assistant United States Attorney
Tel: (207) 780-3257

Portland, Maine: United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced that Anthony Thea, 20, of Portland, Maine, was sentenced in U.S. District Court by Judge Jon D. Levy to six years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release for transportation and possession of child pornography.  Thea was also ordered to pay $1,500 in restitution.  He pleaded guilty on January 20, 2015.

According to court records, in August 2014, an undercover federal agent identified a computer later traced to Thea making images of child pornography available for download via a peer-to-peer file sharing program.  On October 9, 2014, federal agents executed a search warrant at an apartment in South Portland where Thea occasionally stayed and seized a laptop.  Thea admitted owning the laptop and using a peer-to-peer file sharing program to download images of child pornography.  He also said that he had used his cellular telephone to make video recordings of minors in public restrooms and saved them on his computer. A forensic analysis of the laptop’s hard drive revealed 2,680 still images and 903 videos of child pornography and about 80 digital recordings of minor males urinating in restrooms that Thea recorded between June 2011 and May 2013 without the knowledge or consent of the victims.

“HSI investigations involving child exploitation fall under Operation Predator, and this case is a clear demonstration of why we use the term predator for those who seek to victimize the innocent,” said Bruce Foucart, special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New England. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners across the state of Maine, and at the U.S. Attorney’s Office to aggressively target criminals who prey on the most vulnerable members of society.”

U.S. Attorney Delahanty commended the work of HSI noting that: “These cases are very difficult because of the subject matter and the necessity to link the defendant to the disturbing images and on-line conduct.” 
     
The investigation was conducted by HSI, with the assistance of the South Portland Police Department. 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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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.

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Updated May 12, 2015