Barre Resident Sentenced to Prison for Possession of Child Pornography
The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Robert Eldred, 57, of Barre, Vermont, was sentenced on October 16, 2017, in United States District Court in Rutland, Vermont, to serve six (6) months in federal prison after his guilty plea to one count of possession of child pornography. U.S. District Judge Geoffrey W. Crawford also ordered Eldred to serve a five (5) year period of supervised release and to pay a $100 special assessment.
According to court records and proceedings, in February 2015, the Federal Bureau of Investigation seized the computer server that hosted a website dedicated to the sharing and trading of, and communication among offenders about, child pornography (the Website). The FBI did not shut down the Website for approximately 13 days. During that time, when an individual accessed the Website, a Network Investigative Technique (NIT) was deployed to allow law enforcement to identify the Internet Protocol address of the user of the computer that accessed the Website. Through further investigation, the FBI determined that a computer used by Eldred accessed the Website for approximately two hours on March 4, 2015. The FBI executed a warrant to search Eldred’s residence for evidence of child pornography. During the search, Eldred’s computer was seized. During a forensic examination of the computer, the FBI found approximately 22 images of child pornography.
Acting United States Attorney Eugenia A.P. Cowles commended the efforts of the FBI in the investigation and prosecution of Eldred. The prosecution of Eldred was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara A. Masterson. Eldred was represented by Assistant Federal Public Defender David L. McColgin.
Acting U.S. Attorney Cowles noted that this prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorney's Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.