Pensacola Jury Convicts Palm Beach County Man of Online Child Exploitation Offenses
PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Nicholas E. Fogarty, 36, of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, was convicted today in the U.S. District Court in Pensacola of advertisement of child pornography and distribution of child pornography. The verdict was announced by Christopher P. Canova, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
During the day and a half trial, the government presented evidence that, beginning in June 2017, an undercover investigator, posing as a minor female on the social media platform Kik, attempted to identify individuals seeking to engage in sexual activity with minors. Investigators noticed an individual, later identified as Fogarty, created the Kik group “Tweenteenlove,” a group that shared child pornography online. During the investigation, Fogarty instructed others to find and bring young girls to the online group. Fogarty communicated with the undercover agent online, including providing direction to the dark web, which is a hidden Internet where child pornography can be found. Upon Fogarty’s arrest in southern Florida, a search of his electronic devices revealed child pornography and a search browser for the dark web. In all, between 4,000 and 5,000 images and videos of child pornography were captured from Fogarty during this investigation.
For the advertisement charge, Fogarty faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in prison. For the distribution charge, Fogarty faces a mandatory minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 20 years in prison. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 8, 2018, at the United States Courthouse in Pensacola.
The case is being investigated by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, the Boynton Beach Police Department, and the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David L. Goldberg.
The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.