Man Pleads Guilty to Child Exploitation Charge
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 29, 2014|
CONCORD, NH—Eric Morrison, 22, pled guilty in United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire to one count of sexual exploitation of children, announced United States Attorney John P. Kacavas.
The investigation began in 2013 when the Manchester Police received information from the United States Air Force, Office of Special Investigations, that the defendant, a member of the United States Air Force stationed at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, was communicating with Erin Upham, a resident of Manchester. Specifically, the U.S. Air Force Special Agents informed the Manchester Police that the defendant’s communication was of a sexual nature and involved a minor child.
Search warrants were obtained for various electronic items belonging to Morrison and Upham and a forensic examination of the items revealed digital images of a minor child engaged in sexually explicit conduct. On June 19, 2013, a federal grand jury indicted both Morrison and Upham for conspiracy to produce child pornography. Morrison faces a minimum term of 15 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 8, 2014.
The charge was the result of an investigation by the United States Air Force, Office of Special Investigations; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and the Manchester and Derry Police Departments and is being prosecuted under Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the U.S. 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 (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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Helen White Fitzgibbon who is the U.S. Attorney’s coordinator for Project Safe Childhood.