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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Rhode Island

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Former Big Brother Volunteer Sentenced To 5 Years In Federal Prison For  Possessing And Distributing Child Pornography

FBI Investigation Revealed 13,000 Images And 370 Videos Depicting Child Pornography

ROVIDENCE, R.I. – Robert Brown, Jr., 42, formerly of Scituate, a former Big Brother volunteer, was sentenced today to 60 months in federal prison for possessing and distributing child pornography, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of the FBI.

According to information presented to the court, beginning in September 2009, an FBI agent from the San Diego Division logged in to online file sharing programs often used for the sharing of child pornography. The agent was friended by Brown and was permitted by Brown to access and download his files. On at least three occasions, the FBI agent downloaded files containing images and videos depicting child pornography.

According to information presented to the court, the FBI investigation revealed that Brown was accessing and sharing the files from an Internet address at his former Scituate residence. In May 2010, FBI agents executed a court authorized search warrant at Brown’s residence and seized three laptop computers, 19 hard drives and portable digital storage memory cards, computer disks and thumb drives, a web camera and a digital camera.

A forensic examination of the items seized revealed approximately 13,000 images and 370 videos depicting child pornography. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children identified 2,297 images and 32 videos containing images of known children who were identified in 80 series depicting child pornography.

At sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., also ordered Brown to pay restitution to victims in the amount of $10,500; pay a fine of $17,500; and to serve five years supervised release upon completion of his prison term. Brown pleaded guilty on August 6, 2013, as charged in a federal indictment returned in December 2012, to three counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. No plea agreement was filed in this matter.

Brown was ordered to self-surrender to the U.S. Marshals Service on January 7, 2014, to begin serving his prison sentence.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John P. McAdams.

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Contact: 401-709-5357

Updated June 22, 2015