INDIANAPOLIS-(ENEWSPF)- United States Attorney Joseph Hogsett announced January 15 that Patrick Logan Durrett, age 24, of New Albany, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt to 108 months (nine years) in federal prison after admitting to charges that he possessed and distributed images and videos of child pornography. This prosecution comes as part of the U.S. Attorney’s Project Safe Childhood initiative.
“Protecting Hoosier children remains one of the highest priorities of my office, no matter what the threat,” said U.S. Attorney Joseph Hogsett. “Through the tireless work of our nationally recognized Project Safe Childhood team, I will use every resource available to keep these Internet offenders away from our children and hold them accountable.”
In February 2012, an individual online was found by law enforcement to be making child pornography available for other users to download via the Internet using file sharing programs. Undercover FBI agents made contact with that individual and were able to download at least 46 computer files depicting children engaged in sexually explicit activity. The files included videos and images of explicit sexual abuse of children as young as 4 months old.
Investigators tracked the activity to Durrett’s house and executed a search warrant on March 15, 2012. During the search, law enforcement officers located hundreds of files of child pornography depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, including some of the images previously distributed to the undercover agents. The victims depicted in the images and videos located during the search were generally under the age of 5 years old. In one image, the victim was an infant female depicted in bondage. Durrett was placed under arrest at that time.
Hogsett noted that this was just the latest prosecution to be successfully concluded by the Office’s nationally recognized Project Safe Childhood team. Over the last two years, the Indiana-based operation has worked with federal, state, and local law enforcement to prosecute not just defendants located in Indiana but also defendants from across the country and around the world.
Hogsett specifically cited the recently concluded Operation Bulldog, which began with a search warrant in Bloomington and eventually involved dozens of defendants on multiple continents, including individuals from the Louisville-area. All told, more than two dozen children were rescued as a result of Operation Bulldog, and Hogsett said investigators in the United States and abroad are still actively working to identify additional defendants and victims.
In documents filed in federal court, it was noted that a full forensic examination of the materials found in Durrett’s home revealed images and videos that were created by David Bostic, one of the leaders of the Operation Bulldog child pornography conspiracy. He was also in possession of images and videos created by Charles Johnson, another defendant prosecuted by Hogsett’s office as part of the Project Safe Childhood initiative.
Under federal law, defendants must serve a mandatory minimum of 85 percent of their sentence. According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Myers, who prosecuted the Durrett case for the government, Durrett was also ordered by Judge Walton Pratt to remain under supervised release for life at the end of his prison term. Durrett was also ordered to register as a sexual offender and pay $2,000 in restitution to one of the victims.
This case was the result of an investigation by the FBI, Indiana State Police, New Albany Police Department, Kokomo Police Department, and the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.
Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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 to identify and rescue victims. For more on Project Safe Childhood, visit www.justice.gov/psc.
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