July 13, 2015

Producer of Child Pornography Convicted

Miami-Dade resident convicted at trial of producing child pornography.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Special Agent in Charge George Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.

Patrick Killen, Jr., 22, of Hialeah, was convicted of 15 of 16 charged counts following a jury trial before U.S. District Court Chief Judge K. Michael Moore. Killen was convicted of three counts of production of child pornography, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2251(a); two counts of distribution of child pornography, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252(a)(2); four counts of receipt of child pornography, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252(a)(2); four counts of possession of child pornography, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252(a)(4)(B); and two counts of transmission of interstate threats, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 875(d). Killen was acquitted of destruction of evidence, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1519.

Killen is scheduled to be sentenced by Chief Judge Moore on September 24, 2015. At sentencing, Killen faces a minimum mandatory term of 15 years’ imprisonment.

According to the court records and trial testimony, beginning at least as early as November of 2012, Killen created fraudulent social media accounts using assumed identities of teenage girls. Killen stole photographs of minor females from Facebook, Instagram and other sources that he used in support of his falsified accounts. Using the assumed female identities, Killen would search social media websites and engage teenage boys, generally between 11 and 14 years of age, in conversation using Internet chat applications such as Kik, Skype, and Omegle. Over the course of these conversations, some of which lasted hours and others months, Killen falsely presented himself to be a teenage girl. Killen would beg, bribe, and cajole the unsuspecting boys to send him sexually explicit pictures of themselves. In response to Killen’s fraudulent representations, hundreds of teenage boys sent Killen sexually explicit photographs identified as child pornography. When many of these young boys expressed reticence in sending additional sexually explicit photographs, Killen would blackmail them by threatening to post the previously provided material on Instagram and other social media sites. Killen collected, catalogued, and traded the child pornography photographs and videos with other individuals around the world using peer-to-peer file sharing programs. Killen produced, possessed, distributed and received thousands of images and video of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

With this conviction, U.S. Attorney Ferrer noted “[T]he defendant used the Internet to target children and to sexually exploit numerous vulnerable victims. Our Office will continue to join forces with the FBI to combat child pornography offenses. This particular type of criminal activity, now being commonly referred to as “sextortion,” represents an evolving and pernicious threat. Parents must understand this new danger, and make certain that their children are similarly aware. With just an Internet connection or a smart phone, even the youngest of children are susceptible to this type of trickery and criminal exploitation.”

“Sextortion is a growing Internet crime by which online predators take advantage of children through terror and manipulation,” said Brenda L. Moxley, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami. “More information about sextortion and how to protect children from this vile crime can be found at FBI.gov.”

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and Norwood New Jersey Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robb Emery and Ben Widlanski.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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 to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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 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 www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov