Putnam Man Charged with Child Pornography Offenses
|U.S. Attorney’s Office June 13, 2013|
Deirdre M. Daly, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Kimberly K. Mertz, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that Darrick Collette, 32, of Putnam, was arrested today and charged by federal criminal complaint with receipt, distribution, and possession of child pornography.
The criminal complaint alleges that on March 19, 2013, an FBI special agent logged onto a publicly available Internet file sharing network and downloaded images and videos of child pornography from a computer connected to the network with an Internet protocol (IP) address assigned to Collette’s residence. During a search of Collette’s residence this morning, law enforcement officers seized a computer and multiple external hard drives.
Collette was arrested after the search.
Collette appeared this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Thomas P. Smith in Hartford, who ordered Collette detained pending a hearing that is scheduled for June 18.
If convicted of the charge of receipt and distribution of child pornography, Collette faces a minimum term of imprisonment of five years, a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, and a fine of up to $250,000. If convicted of the charge of possession of child pornography, Collette faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000. The penalties in this matter are enhanced because it is alleged that the defendant possessed depictions of prepubescent minors and minors under the age of 12.
Acting U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Connecticut Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The Connecticut State Police and Putnam Police Department have assisted the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Neeraj N. Patel.
This prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which is aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
To report cases of child exploitation, please visit www.cybertipline.com.