Tarpon Springs Man Gets 15 Years for Possession of Child Pornography
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 25, 2010|
TAMPA—U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces that U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington sentenced Dale Chappell, age 40, of Tarpon Springs, Florida, to 180 months in federal prison for possession of child pornography. The court also ordered Chappell to forfeit the computer equipment that he used during the commission of the offense and sentenced him to a lifetime of supervised release by U.S. Probation. Upon release from prison, Chappell must register as sex offender.
Chappell had entered a plea of guilty to the charges on July 21, 2010. According to court documents, Chappell used a computer program known as GigaTribe to obtain and share the child pornography. Undercover FBI agents interacted with Chappell via the Internet. They discovered that he was in possession of numerous images of child pornography. The agents were able to trace Chappell's computer to a commercial location in Tarpon Springs, Florida, where he was employed. During the course of the investigation, the agents found out that Chappell is a registered sex offender in the state of Florida.
The agents obtained a search warrant to search the premises in Tarpon Springs, where Chappell was employed. The warrant was executed on May 8, 2009. During the search, the agents found a large number of images of child pornography in the computers used by Chappell.
According to court documents, a forensic review of the evidence obtained during the search revealed that Chappell possessed thousands of images and videos that contained depictions of prepubescent children engaged in sexual activities. Some of the images depicted sadistic, masochistic, and violent conduct.
In sentencing the defendant, U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez-Covington stated, "Of all of the cases that I see in federal court, this is the worst kind because it affects the lives of innocent children."
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Eduardo E. Toro-Font.