US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). ICE places a high priority on enforcing laws that prohibit the sexual exploitation of children and investigate cases such as possession or receipt of child pornography. With the advent of the Internet, the sharing of child pornography now primarily occurs online through the use of peer to peer networks. ICE and other law enforcement agencies monitor peer to peer networks where child pornography can be viewed and identify the internet protocol (IP) address of the computer accessing the material. Law enforcement will identify the location of the IP address and often executes search warrants for the seizure of computers at the location.

By using a computer to obtain child pornography from a peer to peer network, one cannot possess it without having received it. Possession of child pornography is punishable by probation to 20 years in Federal Prison. Receipt of child pornography is punishable by a minimum mandatory 5 years in Federal Prison up to 20 years. It is the policy of the United States Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Florida that every person prosecuted for possession of child pornography will also be prosecuted for receipt of child pornography if a computer was used to possess the pornography by downloading the images from a peer to peer network. Even if there only a relatively few images, the United States Attorney’s Office will insist on a conviction for receipt of child pornography and that the minimum mandatory 5 year sentence, or more, be imposed.

I have extensive experience in handling child exploitation cases. The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines are very complex for these cases and have many enhancing factors. If you are under investigation or being prosecuted for such an offense, it is best to retain me on your case as soon as possible.  Click here to contact me.