Westerly Resident Arraigned on Child Pornography, Enticement, Transfer of Obscene Materials to a Minor Charges
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island
PROVIDENCE – A Westerly man will continue to be held in federal custody following his arraignment on a superseding indictment charging him with receipt, possession and distribution of child pornography, enticement of a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity, and transferring obscene material to a minor.
Jonathan Breslin, 32, of Westerly, pleaded not guilty on Monday before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan to a five-count superseding indictment charging him with the one count each of possession, receipt and distribution of child pornography, transfer of obscene material to a minor, and enticement of a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity. The superseding indictment was returned on December 6, 2017.
Breslin has been detained since his arrest on August 9, 2017, after a court authorized search of his residence by agents from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), 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 allegedly containing child pornography.
Breslin’s arraignment and detention are announced by Acting United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch; Michael S. Shea Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations for New England; Colonel Ann C. Assumpico, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police; Westerly Police Chief Richard G. Silva; and Warwick Police Chief Colonel Stephen M. McCartney.
According to court documents, it is alleged that in late March 2016, a law enforcement officer in Saskatchewan, Canada, arrested an individual in an unrelated matter. A search of a cell phone belonging to the individual resulted in the discovery of an online mobile chat application allegedly used to discuss and share child pornography images and videos to a network of users. Saskatchewan law enforcement agents identified 78 unique users who allegedly shared and/or communicated about child pornography. The information was provided to Homeland Security Investigations, who, through further investigation, identified IP addresses in the United States that were allegedly used to participate in some of the conversations, and/or to upload and view child pornography. Among the IP address identified was one allegedly belonging to Breslin.
Further investigation by an HSI agent in Rhode Island included online chats between Breslin and the agent posing as an individual interested in discussing, viewing and sharing child pornography. It is alleged that Breslin discussed viewing, possessing and attempted production of child pornography. Additionally, according to the superseding indictment, it is alleged that Breslin transferred obscene material to a person under the age of 16 and attempted to entice a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity.
An indictment is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Possession of child pornography and transfer of obscene material to a person under the age of 16 are punishable by statutory penalties of up to 10 years in federal prison. Receiving and distribution of child pornography are punishable by statutory penalties of 5-20 years in federal prison. Enticing a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity is punishable by statutory penalties of between 10 years- life in federal prison.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John P. McAdams.
The Rhode Island ICAC Task Force is comprised of law enforcement personnel from the Rhode Island State Police, Homeland Security Investigations, United States Postal Inspection Services, and the Warwick, Cranston, East Providence, Newport, Pawtucket, North Kingstown, Portsmouth, and Woonsocket Police Departments.
Updated December 19, 2017
Press Release Number: 17-149
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