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Child Exploitation
10/09/2008

Georgia man found guilty of possession of child porn

ATLANTA - A 37-year-old man was found guilty in District Court here today of receiving and possessing child pornography following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigation.

According to the evidence presented at trial, Marvin D. Bridges, of Gainesville, Ga., was identified as a possible child pornography consumer during an ICE investigation of a series of websites that distributed child pornography.

Evidence developed in the ICE investigation revealed that Bridges was a customer of several of the websites targeted and downloaded child pornography onto his home computer.

In September 2007, federal and local authorities searched his home, recovering a computer whose hard drive had thousands of images of child pornography stored on it.

A forensic examination of the hard drive yielded e-mails confirming Bridges' membership in several of the targeted websites as well as evidence of his accessing of illegal content on those websites.

United States Attorney David E. Nahmias said, "This verdict is another message to those who sexually exploit children: federal agencies and prosecutors will continue to aggressively locate you and lock you away from the community. This case is also a shining example of the value of coordinated, nationwide investigations. This defendant's illegal purchases of images of children being sexually exploited were identified during the prosecution of a global on-line purveyor of child pornography. Agents from Washington, D.C., passed the lead to agents here in Atlanta, who, in coordination with local authorities from Forsyth County, tracked this criminal down and brought him to justice."

"We will continue aggressively pursuing predators who think that they can hide behind the anonymity of cyberspace," said Kenneth A. Smith, ICE Special Agent in Charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Atlanta. "ICE has zero tolerance for those who exploit the most vulnerable segment of our society--our children."

Bridges is scheduled to be sentenced on December 19.

He faces a mandatory minimum five-year term of incarceration and a maximum term of 30 years.

The arrest of Marvin D. Bridges was part of a nationwide initiative known as Operation Predator. Operation Predator protects our children from sexual predators, including those who travel across continents to have sex with minors. Internet child pornographers and criminal alien sex offenders and child traffickers are also a priority for ICE. Since the initiative was launched in July of 2003, there have been more than 11,500 individuals arrested nationwide.

ICE encourages anyone who wants to report suspicious activity of suspected child predators and suspicious activity through our toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. Investigators staff this hotline around the clock.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http:/www.cybertipline.com.