ICE - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

09/24/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/24/2020 11:03

Massachusetts man sentenced to 5 years in federal prison for distributing child pornography following ICE investigation

BOSTON - Leonidas N. Mavrogenis, Jr., 62, of Salem, Massachusetts, was sentenced to five years in prison for distribution of child pornography, it was announced by Michael Shea, acting special agent in charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Boston and Scott W. Murray U.S. attorney for New Hampshire in a New Hampshire federal court Sept. 22.

According to court documents and statements made in court, during an ongoing undercover investigation, a member of the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, with whom HSI Boston partners, accessed a peer-to-peer network to identify users who may be sharing images of child pornography. Between February 8, 2018, and March 23, 2018, law enforcement conducted downloads of child pornography from an IP address later found to belong to Mavrogenis.

On August 1, 2018, law enforcement executed a search warrant at the defendant's residence in Salem, New Hampshire. During the search, law enforcement seized computer equipment and electronic devices for forensic examination. Subsequent forensic examination revealed thousands of still images and hundreds of video files containing child pornography, including videos and images downloaded by law enforcement during their investigation.

'This sentence serves as a warning to any who diminish the seriousness of the sharing of such disturbing images.' said Michael Shea, acting special agent in charge, HSI Boston. 'Together with our partners in the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, HSI Boston congratulates the U.S. Attorney's office for their success in ensuring justice was done in this case. We hope today's sentence brings some measure of restoration to the lives of those who are victimized by the actions of Mavrogenis and any others who spread this garbage online.'

'Those who distribute child pornography are sharing horrific images of young people who have been abused,' said U.S. Attorney Murray. 'In order to stop this savage exploitation of children, we will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to see that those responsible are held accountable in court. This serious crime will result in serious federal prison time.'

This matter was investigated by ICE's HSI and the New Hampshire ICAC Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cam Le, of the U.S. Attorney for New Hampshire.

ICE HSI is committed to combating the sexual exploitation of children. Investigations of child sexual exploitation are among HSI's primary investigative priorities. The sexual abuse of children impacts the most vulnerable segment of our society.

ICE HSI knows the importance of education and community awareness regarding the dangers of online activity.

Providing children, teens, parents and teachers with information regarding the potential dangers of online environments and how to stay safe online can help prevent many instances of child exploitation. That is why HSI has partnered with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's (NCMEC) NetSmartz and the ICAC Task Forces to develop Project iGuardian.

Project iGuardian aims to counter a disturbing fact: many online child predators can find victims online because children are not always aware of how dangerous online environments can be.

Project iGuardian is focused on keeping children and teens safe from online predators through education and awareness. The project is an outreach effort to share information about the dangers of online environments, how to stay safe online, and how to report abuse and suspicious activity. In addition, the iGuardians™ team is here to help kids stay safe online by providing safety tips, a number to call, and a website with links to more information and resources. Project iGuardian helps kids, teens and parents be smarter about online safety and stay safe from online sexual predators.

To request an iGuardian presentation at your school or organization, email [email protected]. To report a crime, call 866-347-2423 (TTY for hearing impaired: 802-872-6196) or visit the HSI Tip Line.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to NCMEC, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678.