State Crime Reports

Suburban Man Sentenced to Five Years in Federal Prison for Receiving Child Pornography

CHICAGO—(ENEWSPF)—February 4, 2014. A north suburban man was sentenced today to five years in federal prison for amassing a staggering collection of child pornography over a decade. The defendant, DANIEL BERMAN, 49, of Northbrook and formerly of Buffalo Grove, pleaded guilty last July to receiving child pornography, admitting that he had collected more than 100,000 illicit images.

Berman was formerly a police dispatcher in Northbrook and a paramedic in Northfield, however, his public safety employment played no role in the offense. There were no allegations or indications of any sexual contact with minors.

Berman was also fined $85,000 and placed on supervised release for 15 years following his prison term by U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly. Berman was ordered to surrender on May 14 and must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for release. There is no parole in the federal prison system.

“The children depicted in these images experienced immeasurable harm,” Judge Kennelly said, adding “it’s anything other than a victimless crime.”

According to court documents, Berman was charged after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations agents received information from Italian authorities that a website containing child pornography had been accessed by a computer with an internet address located in Buffalo Grove. Agents executed a search warrant at Berman’s Buffalo Grove home in May 2011 and seized computer equipment, including three external hard drives, 14 DVDs containing child pornography and 15 binders containing 611 categorized images of child pornography. The computer hard drives and DVDs were found to contain virtually countless illicit images and videos. Authorities tabulated approximately 100,000 images and videos with known victims identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

In addition to the sheer volume of child pornography that Berman accumulated between 2001 and 2011, Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrianna D. Kastanek noted that he maintained his collection in a systematic and organized manner over a lengthy period of time.

In pleading guilty, Berman also admitted that he used peer-to-peer file sharing programs to acquire child pornography from other Internet users, who also had access to images and videos of child pornography stored in shared files on his computer.

The sentence was announced today by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Gary Hartwig, Special Agent-in-Charge of HSI in Chicago.