Travelers Rest Man Pleads Guilty to Possession of Child Pornography
|U.S. Attorney’s Office June 19, 2013|
COLUMBIA, SC—United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Timothy Richard O’Brien, age 31, of Travelers Rest, pled guilty today in federal court in Anderson to possession of child pornography, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252A. United States District Judge Timothy M. Cain of Anderson accepted the plea and will impose sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report, which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that on September 13, 2012, an FBI agent working in an undercover capacity was conducting an online investigation into individuals sharing child pornography with peer-to-peer software programs. The agent had taken over an account of a cooperating defendant. The agent queried the network of friends associated with the cooperating defendant and observed that O’Brien was logged on to the network. The agent downloaded 55 files from O’Brien. Fifty-four of these appeared to be child pornography. Further investigation revealed that the IP address used by O’Brien was associated with a residence in Travelers Rest, South Carolina.
Based on this information, the FBI in Greenville obtained a search warrant for O’Brien’s home. It was executed on October 26, 2012. The FBI seized the computers at the home and conducted a forensic examination of the items seized. Agents found multiple still images and videos of child pornography.
Mr. Nettles stated the maximum penalty O’Brien can receive is a fine of $250,000 and/or imprisonment for 10 years, plus a special assessment of $100.
The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Bill Watkins of the Greenville office handled the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys Offices, 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, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.