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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Westerly Resident Admits to Child Pornography Charges

Admits to transferring obscene materials to a minor

PROVIDENCE – A Westerly man pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence today to receiving, possessing and distributing child pornography, and to transferring obscene material to a minor.

Appearing before U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., Jonathan Breslin, 33, admitted to the Court that he exchanged sexually explicit images involving minors with others via online social media applications. Breslin also admitted to sending sexually explicit images to a minor via the Internet and attempting to entice minors to create and share with him sexually explicit images and/or videos.

Breslin pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography, transferring obscene material to a minor, and two counts of receipt and distribution of child pornography, announced by United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch; Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations Peter C. Fitzhugh; Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police Ann C. Assumpico; Westerly Police Chief Richard G. Silva; and Warwick Police Chief Colonel Stephen M. McCartney.

According to court documents, Homeland Security Investigations learned from a Canadian law enforcement agency of 78 unique users who shared and/or communicated about child pornography on a social media application. Through further investigation, Homeland Security Investigations identified one of the IP addresses as belonging to Jonathan Breslin. The investigation into Breslin's online activities revealed a series of sexually explicit discussions about creating, distributing and the viewing of child pornography. 

As part of the investigation, a Homeland Security Investigations agent posing as an individual interested in child pornography engaged Breslin in a series of communications. During the exchanges with the agent, Breslin discussed viewing, possessing and the attempted production of child pornography.

Additionally, the investigation determined that Breslin transferred obscene material online to a person under the age of 16 and attempted to entice a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity.

On August 9, 2017, a court-authorized search of Breslin’s residence by agents from Homeland Security Investigations, the Rhode Island State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and members of the Westerly and Warwick Departments resulted in the seizure of a computer, a digital media storage device and cell phone all containing child pornography. A forensic audit of the electronic equipment revealed at least 275 images and 46 videos containing child pornography.

Breslin, who has been detained in federal custody since his arrest on August 9, 2017, is scheduled to be sentenced on January 10, 2019.

Possession of child pornography and transfer of obscene material to a minor are punishable by statutory penalties of up to 10 years in federal prison. Receipt and distribution of child pornography is punishable by statutory penalties of 5-20 years in federal prison.

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

The Rhode Island Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is comprised of law enforcement personnel from the Rhode Island State Police, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Warwick, Cranston, East Providence, Newport, Pawtucket, North Kingstown, Bristol, and Woonsocket Police Departments.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Jim Martin (401) 709-5357
Press Release Number: 
18-133
Updated October 10, 2018