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Home News Police & Courts STX Man Sentenced for Possessing 'Thousands' of Child Porn Images

STX Man Sentenced for Possessing ‘Thousands’ of Child Porn Images

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Judge Robert Molloy sentenced Collin Gomes, 27, of St. Croix, to 78 months in prison for possession of child pornography, which he had been collecting since 2011, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced Wednesday.

Gomes was also sentenced to five years of supervised release and ordered to pay special assessments in the amounts of $100 and $5,000, respectively. The court also ordered $3,000 restitution to each of the three victims, Shappert said.

According to court documents, Gomes’s computer and external hard drives held thousands of child pornography images and videos.

On or about Aug. 16, 2018, Sept. 6, 2018, and Oct. 22, 2018, court records say, a police detective from Grand Prairie, Texas, was conducting an online investigation on the BitTorrent network for offenders sharing child pornography. BitTorrent is a communication system for peer-to-peer file sharing that enables users to distribute data and electronic files over the Internet in a decentralized manner. Files are shared on the BitTorrent network via use of “torrents,” which provide addresses identifying computers that can send portions of a requested file. With the assistance of a torrent file, the user can download small portions of the original file.

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As a result of information collected by the Texas lawman, officers initiated an investigation for a device on the IP address used by the defendant. The torrent files referenced a number of files, at least one of which was identified as child pornography. On each of the dates referenced above, a download of files was successfully completed from the device that the defendant’s IP address was making available. Officers confirmed that each download contained child pornography.

On Dec. 14, 2018, Homeland Security Investigations executed a search warrant on the defendant’s St. Croix residence. Agents explained to the defendant what they were searching for and advised him of his rights. The defendant waived his rights and agreed to speak to the agents. They asked if he viewed, downloaded and made available for download any files containing images or videos depicting child pornography and the defendant said “yes.”

The defendant also told the agents he had a computer on which he had child pornography and that he had been downloading child pornography since 2011 and collected thousands of images and videos. He told officers that there was approximately one and a half terabytes of material. (A terabyte is a unit of information equal to one million million bytes, or 2 to the 40th power bytes.) HIS agents located thousands of child pornography images and videos on the defendant’s computer and external hard drives.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rhonda Williams-Henry.

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