Eric Daniel Griffith, 24, of Elkton, Md., was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison followed by 30 years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett. Judge Bennett ordered that upon his release from prison, Griffith must register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
According to the plea agreement, on Nov. 25, 2010, an HSI special agent using an undercover computer downloaded 88 files containing minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct from Griffith's internet file sharing program. HSI special agents and Maryland State Police personnel executed a search warrant at Griffith's residence and seized a laptop and external hard disk drive which contained more than 8,000 images and videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, including sadistic or other violent conduct. Griffith admitted that he had used the internet to download, view and distribute child pornography.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or its online tip form at http://www.ice.gov/exec/forms/hsi-tips/tips.asp. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.
The investigation was conducted by HSI, the Maryland State Police and the Cecil County State Attorney's Office.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Judson T. Mihok.