West Palm Beach Man Charged with Distribution of Child Pornography
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 15, 2009|
R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Anthony V. Mangione, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Office of Investigations, and Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), announced today that defendant Michael L. Pickering, 19, was charged in a criminal complaint with distribution of child pornography, in violation of Title 18, United states Code, Section 2252(a)(1). The defendant appeared in federal court today for his initial appearance, and was detained without bond pending a bond hearing next week. His arraignment is scheduled for April 29, 2009.
According to the criminal complaint filed in court, the investigation commenced in August 2008, when an officer from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) downloaded approximately 350 images of child pornography from defendant Pickering on an internet-based file sharing website. The RCMP, with assistance of French authorities, learned that Pickering’s computer utilized an Internet Protocol address that was assigned to a residence located in West Palm Beach, FL.
Further investigation revealed that the Internet Protocol address registered to the defendant, Pickering, was still involved in the transmission of child pornography over the internet from his computer. On April 14, 2009, ICE and FBI agents executed a federal search warrant at the defendant’s home in West Palm Beach. The search warrant resulted in the seizure of several computers, cellular telephones, DVDs, CDs, and documents, including several videos containing child pornography. Pickering admitted that he downloaded onto his computer numerous images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and using file sharing programs to distribute those images to others on the internet.
Mr. Acosta thanked ICE’s Office of Investigations in West Palm Beach and the FBI’s C-18 Crimes Against Children Division in Miami for their work on this investigation. Acosta also thanked the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for their assistance in this matter. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Dispoto.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.