Ladson man sentenced to 15 years for child porn

  • Wednesday, October 2, 2013

 
United States Attorney Bill Nettles announced Wednesday that Fernando Rivas, age 61, of Ladson, was sentenced in federal court in Charleston, for Production and Transportation of Child Pornography. 
Senior United States District Judge Patrick Michael Duffy of Charleston sentenced Rivas to 15 years imprisonment and lifetime supervised release.
Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that Rivas came to the attention of the FBI when a cooperating defendant (CI) in a child exploitation case in New Jersey told authorities that he received child porn from a person in South Carolina, who was later identified as Rivas.  
According to the cooperating defendant, he and Rivas had exchanged child pornography via email for several years.
The FBI in New Jersey issued administrative subpoenas for the IP address in question, and the subpoena identified a computer at Rivas’ address as the source of the emails between Rivas and the CI. Based on this information, a search warrant was executed at Rivas’ residence in Ladson on April 19, 2011. Agents seized numerous computers, hard-drives, cameras, and CDs. 
Rivas was present during the search and confessed to possessing, transporting, and producing child pornography. Rivas admitted to taking nude pictures and videos of a four-year-old child. These images depict the lascivious exhibition of the genital and pubic area of the child and constitute child pornography.
A forensic examination of Rivas’ computers and cameras was conducted by the FBI, and it found more than 2,000 images and 12 videos of child pornography involving prepubescent minors. 
The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Rhett Dehart of the Charleston office prosecuted the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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