Gaston County Man Sentenced to 17 Years in Prison for Possession and Transportation of Child Pornography
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 12, 2013|
CHARLOTTE, NC—A Gaston County man was sentenced to 204 months in prison today for possession and transportation of child pornography, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Bobby Clarence Byrd, Jr., 44, of Lowell, North Carolina, was also ordered to serve 15 years under court supervision following his prison sentence and to register as a sex offender.
Joining U.S. Attorney Tompkins in making today’s announcement are Roger A. Coe, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division; and Chief Stacy Conley of the Gastonia Police Department.
In November 2011, a federal criminal indictment charged Byrd with one count of possession and one count of transportation of child pornography. According to filed court documents and today’s sentencing hearing, in or about January 2011, Byrd transported or possessed 59 videos and 342 images depicting the sexual abuse of children as young as 2 years old. Byrd pleaded guilty to the charges in April 2012. During the course of the investigation, law enforcement discovered that Byrd had sexually abused a young child in 2006. Byrd pleaded guilty to state charges and was sentenced to 16-20 months in state prison for his criminal conduct.
Byrd has been in local federal custody since December 2011. He will be transferred into the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole. The investigation was handled by the FBI and Gastonia Police Department.
In a separate case involving child pornography, on Monday, March 11, 2013, Judge Whitney sentenced Paul Durfee, 45, of Charlotte, to 70 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for possession of child pornography. Durfee was also ordered to register as a sex offender. According to filed documents and yesterday’s sentencing hearing, from February 2007 to December 2010, Durfee participated in a website that was being used to share child pornography internationally. Agents tracked Durfee to his home in Charlotte and executed a search warrant in December 2010. A forensic examination of a computer seized during the search located images of children being sexually abused and exploited.
Durfee has been in local federal custody since April 2012, and will be transferred into the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility where he will serve his sentence without the possibility of parole. Durfee’s investigation was handled by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
The prosecution for the government of Byrd and Durfee was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cortney Escaravage of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.
Both cases were 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.