Trumbull Resident Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Pornography Distribution Charges
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 20, 2011|
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MICHAEL DRZAL, 22, of Trumbull, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to one count of receipt and distribution of child pornography.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in May 2011, a Connecticut State Police Trooper assigned to the Computer Crimes Unit and an FBI Special Agent assigned to the Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force in New Haven each logged into a publicly available Internet file-sharing program and downloaded videos of child pornography from shared directories maintained by DRZAL. On June 22, 2011, law enforcement agents conducted a court-authorized search of DRZAL’s Trumbull residence and seized a computer and hard drives. Forensic analysis of DRZAL’s computer, hard drives, and e-mail account revealed approximately 1,738 image files and 685 videos of child pornography.
Judge Underhill has scheduled sentencing for March 9, 2012, at which time DRZAL faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years, a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000.
Since his arrest on June 22, 2011, DRZAL has been released on a bond cosigned by family members with conditions including that he receive mental health counseling, have no unsupervised Internet access, have no unsupervised contact with children under the age of 18 without first receiving permission from the United States Probation Office, and that he not hold any position of authority or guidance over children or youth groups involving children who are under the age of 18. DRZAL also must not loiter around schools, playgrounds, arcades, or any other places where children under 18 congregate.
This case is being investigated by the Connecticut State Police Computer Crimes Unit, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force, which includes federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Neeraj Patel.
This prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, and the District of Connecticut’s “Operation Constant Vigilance,” which are aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
To report cases of child exploitation, please visit www.cybertipline.com.