The U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs enforcement just made a mass arrest of defendants accused of collecting and trading child pornography on the Internet. A five-week federal investigation recently culminated in the arrests of 70 men and one woman.
In connection with the arrests, more than 600 computers, tablets and phones were seized. These are undergoing forensic investigation by the Department of Homeland Security to catalog evidence, and by the Center for Missing and Exploited Children to see if any of the photographs that were recovered are of children who are missing.
Investigators say that more arrests may come after examination of the devices has been completed.
Federal investigators began their investigation after the arrest in January of a police chief who was subsequently charged with knowing possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography. Agents posed as people who wanted to anonymously collect and trade child pornography images, and then obtained Internet Protocol (IP) addresses of those who offered any. The agents then subpoenaed Internet service providers to determine the names and addresses associated with those addresses.
Even though the Internet may seem like an impersonal place where one can avoid scrutiny that is not a safe assumption to make when doing illegal things online. As this case illustrates, law enforcement officials have significant resources to undertake digital forensic investigations, often gathering evidence of criminal conduct before the accused has any idea that he or she is even under suspicion.
Massachusetts residents who have been arrested and accused of Internet crimes need knowledgeable criminal defense representation to make sure that their privacy and other legal rights have not been violated. Such cases involve complicated technological and evidentiary issues, which can a criminal defense attorney can help guide the accused through.
Source: Boston Herald, “Dozens charged in child porn case in NYC area,” Associated Press, May 24, 2014.
Originally posted in Federal Crimes on Thursday, May 29, 2014. Edited by Jack Cunha on August 2016
Boston Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer
There is a well-known term describing a situation in which you feel trapped, helpless, and confused, with an impending sense of dread, if not doom: “that sinking feeling.” If you are being investigated for federal crimes or accused of any white collar crimes, you have experienced it. You need a federal criminal defense lawyer.
It is understandable being overwhelmed and intimidated up against any criminal charge. But with a federal criminal charge, it is more ominous. You may have already been contacted by federal law enforcement agencies like the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. If you have already come face to face with federal agents, or their intimidating pressure, and intrusive technology, like wiretaps or video surveillance, you understand the power and resources the feds bring to any investigation. You need help. You need a Boston federal criminal defense lawyer now.
If you have not spoken with federal law enforcement, do not do it. It is a serious, and sometimes fatal mistake. No matter what you say, it will be twisted to hurt you.
Not just any criminal defense lawyer is up to the challenge of facing down the power of a federal prosecution. You need a law firm expert in federal criminal statutes, federal court procedure, and perhaps the intricacy of federal sentencing law.
When your rights, your freedom and your reputation are on the line, retain an experienced, hard-nosed Boston federal criminal defense lawyer.
Call 617-523-4300 to schedule a consultation. One of our Boston criminal defense lawyers is a native bilingual speaker in Spanish and English, another fluent in French.
Posted August 27, 2014; revised by Attorney Jack Cunha, August 20, 2016.