Child Pornography Prosecutions This Week
SACRAMENTO, CA—United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that this week in the Eastern District of California, two defendants were sentenced, three defendants pleaded guilty, and one defendant was indicted for child pornography offenses. These cases were brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the Department of Justice to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.
Jason Garrett Duran Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison, 2:12-cr-371 TLN
Jason Garrett Duran, 44, formerly of Bishop, was sentenced on Thursday by United States District Judge Troy L. Nunley to 20 years in prison for possession of child pornography. Duran was convicted by the state of California in June 2002 of a felony involving the aggravated sexual abuse, sexual abuse, or abusive sexual contact involving a minor and received a 10-year sentence for that crime. Approximately three months after being paroled, Duran began acquiring a collection of child pornography and engaging in sexually explicit online chats. FBI agents conducted a parole search of his Sacramento apartment on October 10, 2012, and found approximately 375 images and one video of child pornography on his computer and a removable thumb drive.
At sentencing, Judge Nunley stated, “Child pornography is not a victimless crime.” He told Duran that he was “a person who committed one of the most horrendous and atrocious crimes a person could commit against the most vulnerable members of our community—our children.”
This case was the product of an investigation by the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department, and the FBI’s Washington D.C. and Sacramento Field Offices.
Erik David McKinney Sentenced to Five Years, 2:13-cr-035 JAM
Erik David McKinney, 28, of Oroville, was sentenced on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, by United States District Judge John A. Mendez to five years in prison for receipt and distribution of child pornography, to be followed by a 20-year term of supervised release. McKinney is also required to register under the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). In October 2012, agents identified a computer at McKinney’s residence that was offering files of child pornography over the Internet and obtained a search warrant. On his computers, agents found 10 videos and 617 images of child pornography, some showing the sadistic and masochistic abuse of prepubescent boys and girls and the abuse of toddlers. This case was the product of an investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Larry Steven Occhipinti, Jr. Indicted
A federal grand jury indicted Larry Steven Occhipinti, 38, of Red Bluff, on Thursday, charging him with receipt of child pornography. The indictment alleges that between May 31, 2012 and April 29, 2014, Occhipinti downloaded child pornography through the Internet. Occhipinti was arrested on May 1, 2014, and made his initial appearance in Sacramento the next day. On May 9, 2014, he was ordered released into the custody of his parent, and placed on electronic monitoring. He was also ordered to not access the Internet and to have no contact with children. He is scheduled for arraignment on May 16, 2014. This case was the product of an investigation by HSI.
If convicted, Occhipinti faces a sentence of five to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of five years to life of supervised release. The charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Keith Richard Hill Pleads Guilty, 2:12-cr-420 TLN
Keith Richard Hill, 33, of Sacramento, pleaded guilty on Thursday to possession of child pornography. In October 2011, agents identified a computer at Hill’s residence offering child pornography through the Internet. Among the files being offered were videos of prepubescent girls engaged in sexually explicit conduct. During a search of his residence, agents found two computers with approximately 60 videos of child pornography. Hill is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Troy L. Nunley on July 31, 2014. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. This case was the product of an investigation by the Sacramento Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
John Franklin Bye Pleads Guilty, 2:14-cr-034 JAM
John Franklin Bye, 45, of Marysville, pleaded guilty on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, to distribution of child pornography. In the summer of 2013, the Nevada County Sheriff’s Department received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that Bye had sent an e-mail that contained child pornography. Law enforcement obtained a state search warrant for the contents of Bye’s e-mails and found a “Saved” folder and a “Sent” folder that contained e-mails with multiple attachments showing child pornography, including images of prepubescent children and images of sadistic and masochistic conduct. Bye is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge John A. Mendez on August 26, 2014, and faces a sentence of five to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000. This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Jason Michael Carlsen Pleads Guilty; 2:14-CR-066 JAM
Jason Michael Carlsen, 41, of Citrus Heights, pleaded guilty on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, to distribution of child pornography. A person in Kentucky received a series of text messages with several pictures of child pornography and reported it to Kentucky State Police who determined that the sender of the messages lived in Citrus Heights. Citrus Height Police Department investigated and a forensic examination of Carlsen’s phone located more than 600 images and videos of child pornography. Also located on the phone were e-mail folders titled “Sent,” “Drafts,” “Inbox,” and “Uncategorized” that contained numerous e-mails with child pornography videos attachments that had been sent to various other e-mail accounts. Carlsen is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge John A. Mendez on August 26, 2014, and faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. This case was the product of an investigation by the Citrus Heights Police Department, Kentucky State Police, and the Sacramento Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Any sentences will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
Assistant United States Attorney Kyle Reardon is the prosecutor for all of the foregoing cases.
The Sacramento Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force is a federally and state-funded task force managed by the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department with agents from federal, state, and local agencies. The Sacramento ICAC investigates online child exploitation crimes, including child pornography, enticement, and sex trafficking.
Project Safe Childhood is led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section. It marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “Resources” tab for information about Internet safety education.