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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Collierville Man Sentenced to 80 Months’ Imprisonment for Possession of Child Pornography

Memphis, TN – A Collierville man was sentenced to 80 months in federal prison for possession of child pornography. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant for the Western District of Tennessee announced the sentence today.

According to information presented in court, on November 21, 2014, Detective Robert Erdely of the Western Pennsylvania Crimes Against Children Task Force was working in an undercover capacity, using specialized software to identify individuals possessing and sharing known images of child pornography using peer-to-peer file-sharing software. Erdely’s program identified a computer utilizing an I.P. address, which was later identified as being assigned to Patrick Harris of Collierville, Tennessee. A search of Harris’ residence yielded numerous electronic devices containing thousands of images of child pornography. Harris pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography in December 2017. On May 14, 2018, U.S. District Judge Sheryl H. Lipman sentenced Harris to 80 months in federal prison.

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said: “With new and ever-changing technology, criminals are finding new and increasingly disturbing ways to victimize and exploit child victims. This case demonstrates that no matter where offenders are located, our Project Safe Childhood initiative and FBI partners will find them and hold them accountable for internet crimes against children.”

This case was investigated by the FBI and the Western Pennsylvania Crimes Against Children Task Force as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals, federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about PSC, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/resources.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kasey A. Weiland prosecuted this case on the government’s behalf.

Updated May 16, 2018