FORT PIERCE, Fla. - A Martin County convicted child predator was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations in Fort Pierce and the Martin County Sheriff's Office.
On June 28, Brian James Keith, of Stuart, Fla., was sentenced to 121 months in prison followed by a life term of supervised release as a sex offender by U. S. District Court Judge Donald L. Graham. On April 4, Brian James Keith pleaded guilty to transportation of child pornography.
On Feb. 2, an ICE special agent located in Fort Pierce conducted an Internet investigation into the international trafficking of child pornography via Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks. During the investigation, several images depicting minor children engaged in sexually explicit conduct were downloaded from Internet Protocol (IP) address 22.214.171.124. A check of the American Registry for Internet Numbers revealed the IP address was registered to Comcast Cable Communications, Inc., and the account holder was identified as Brian Keith, with a service address of 1050 SE Letha Circle, Apartment #7, Stuart, Fla.
Keith was subsequently interviewed by detectives from the Martin County Sheriff's Office and he admitted using P2P computer software on the Internet to download child pornography. Keith advised he used special "keywords" (search terms) known to be connected to child pornography to locate various files. Several of the files downloaded during the investigation had known child pornography logos embedded in the image.
During a forensic examination of Keith's tower computer, more than 200 deleted images depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct were recovered. The P2P software was found to be in the sharing mode, which enabled any online user to download from the shared files on Keith's computer.
This investigation was 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.
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.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carmen Lineberger.