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Press Release

Matthews, N.C. Man Sentenced To 10 Years For Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina

 CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Gino Aristoteles Costa, 43, of Matthews, N.C. was sentenced late yesterday to 121 months in prison for transportation of child pornography, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.  Chief U.S. District Judge Frank D. Whitney also ordered Costa to serve a lifetime of supervised release and to register as a sex offender after he is released from prison.

Ronnie Martinez, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Charlotte joins U.S. Attorney Murray in making today’s announcement.

According to court documents and information introduced at the sentencing hearing, in November 2017, Costa was using a peer-to-peer network to access and transport multiple files containing child pornography.  HSI agents were able to successfully download multiple files of child pornography from Costa during this time period. During a subsequent search of Costa’s residence, law enforcement seized Costa’s computer.  Costa admitted he downloaded child pornography videos for several months, some depicting the sexual abuse of children as young as toddlers. 

Costa pleaded guilty on July 8, 2019, to transportation of child pornography. He is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.  All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.  

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Murray thanked HSI for conducting the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Alfredo De La Rosa of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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 to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Updated December 19, 2019

Topic
Project Safe Childhood