PITTSBURGH - New Hampshire resident pleaded guilty in federal court in Pittsburgh to a charge of engaging in a child exploitation enterprise. Carney, age 56, of Manchester, New Hampshire, pleaded guilty on June 4. The investigation was led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Court records established that from January 1, 2007, to September 22, 2009, Carney distributed images and videos of children being sexually abused to other members of a closed international group that had formed on a social networking website. Members of the group distributed thousands of sexually explicit images and videos of children to each other. The evidence seized was images and videos of prepubescent children, which were mostly male children and some as young as infants. The pornography showed them being graphically sexually abused and sometimes sodomized or subjected to bondage.
Sentencing is scheduled for December 17, 2010, at 9:30 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of not less than 20 years and up to life in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
ICE worked with the High Tech Investigative Unit of the Department of Justice's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section during the investigation. Trial attorney Barak Cohen of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and Assistant United States Attorney Craig W. Haller prosecuted the case.
This investigation is part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE 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. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 12,800 individuals.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.