Niyaz Sainudeen, 42, of Bethlehem, Pa., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James Knoll Gardner.
In July 2011, Sainudeen engaged in a chat session with an undercover HSI special agent, giving the special agent access to a password-protected folder containing child pornography. During a March 2012 search of Sainudeen’s computer, HSI special agents discovered hundreds of images and dozens of videos of child pornography. After being questioned by special agents at his home, Sainudeen attempted to flee to his native India and was arrested at Kennedy Airport. He pleaded guilty to two counts of distributing child pornography, one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography.
"When Sainudeen’s shield of cyberspace anonymity was cracked by HSI agents, he believed he could return to his country without being held accountable for his actions. He was wrong," said John P. Kelleghan, special agent in charge of HSI Philadelphia. "We want the community to know that HSI and our law enforcement partners will work tirelessly to protect children and ensure that justice is served on behalf of child victims."
In addition to the prison term, Judge Gardner also sentenced Sainudeen to five years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $10,000 in restitution.
This investigation was also 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 1-866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.