U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Nevada
(702) 388-6336
July 29, 2015

Sparks, Nevada Man Sentenced to More Than 17 Years in Federal Prison for Child Pornography Crime

RENO, NV—A convicted sex offender who had failed to register with the State of Nevada and was caught with hundreds of images and videos of child pornography on his computers, has been sentenced to 17½ years in prison for his guilty plea to receipt of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden, for the District of Nevada.

Jeffrey Scott Varnum, 48, of Sparks, Nev., who pleaded guilty in April to one count of receipt of child pornography, was sentenced on July 28, by Senior U.S. District Judge Howard D. McKibben. Varnum was also placed on lifetime supervised release and must register as a convicted sex offender.

“The sharing of child pornography over the Internet results in repeated re-victimization and can negatively affect a victim for the rest of his or her life,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden. “The persons who produce these images and trade them with other persons deserve significant sentences of imprisonment.”

Between March and October 2014, a law enforcement officer assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in Reno was conducting online child pornography investigations and determined that an Internet address connected to Varnum’s residence was involved in the sharing of child pornography files. On Nov. 17, members of the Task Force executed a search warrant at the residence, and seized two computers and other electronic storage devices from Varnum’s bedroom. A forensic investigation of the items revealed that Varnum had installed and utilized software on the computers which allowed him to locate and receive child pornography. The investigation further revealed that Varnum possessed and received over 300 images and 10 videos of child pornography. The images and videos depicted prepubescent children engaged in sexually explicit conduct, as well as sadistic and masochistic conduct. Varnum also possessed and received over 11,000 images of child erotica. At the time of the search, Varnum was on probation for failing to register as a sex offender. He had been convicted in 1994 and 1998 in Reno of lewdness, and in 2012, he was convicted in Reno of failing to register as a sex offender.

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Northern Nevada Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shannon M. Bryant.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”

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