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Press Release

Westerly Resident Indicted for Receipt, Possession and Distribution of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE – A federal grand jury in Providence today returned a three-count indictment charging Jonathan Breslin, 33, of Westerly, with receipt, possession and distribution of child pornography.

Breslin has been detained in federal custody since his arrest on August 11, 2017, following a court authorized search of his residence by agents from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and members of the Rhode Island State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, with the assistance of members of the Westerly and Warwick Police Departments. During the search, law enforcement seized of a computer, a digital media storage device and a cell phone allegedly containing child pornography. 

The indictment of Breslin is announced by Acting United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch; Matthew J. Etre, Special Agent in Charge of HSI 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 and information presented to the court at the time of Breslin’s initial appearance in U.S. District Court, 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. A review by Saskatchewan law enforcement identified 78 unique users who allegedly shared and/or communicated about child pornography.

Information developed and records obtained by Canadian law enforcement through Canadian court orders were provided to HSI agents who, through further investigation, identified IP address 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.

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 is punishable statutory penalties of up to 10 years in federal prison, a fine of $250,000 and lifetime supervised. Receiving and distribution of child pornography are each punishable by statutory penalties of 5-20 years in federal prison, a fine of $250,000 and lifetime supervised release.

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

The Rhode Island ICAC Task Force is comprised of members of the Rhode Island State Police Computer Crimes Unit along with detectives from the Warwick, Cranston, Newport, East Providence Police, Pawtucket, North Kingstown, Portsmouth and Woonsocket Police Departments and agents from Homeland Security Investigations and United States Postal Inspection Services.



Jim Martin (401) 709-5357
on Twitter @USAO_RI

Updated September 7, 2017

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 17-106