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Child Exploitation

Former corrections officer sentenced for possession of child pornography

BUFFALO, N.Y. — An upstate New York man has been sentenced to 48 months in prison – to be followed by five years of supervised release – for possession of child pornography. The sentence is the result of an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Shawn Pound, 41, of Gowanda, N.Y., who was convicted of possession of child pornography, was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny.

"All children have an absolute right to grow up free from the fear of being sexually exploited," said James C. Spero, special agent in charge of HSI Buffalo. "While this sentence cannot repair the permanent damage done to the children depicted in these images, it should serve as a warning to those who engage in this behavior: HSI and our partners will be relentless in our pursuit of online predators."

On March 9, 2010, the defendant, a New York state corrections officer at the time, possessed 190 images of child pornography stored on two computers at his residence in Gowanda. The two computers were seized by HSI during the execution of a federally authorized search warrant, and a subsequent search of the computers revealed the images. He pleaded guilty to the charge Nov. 29, 2011.

HSI's ongoing efforts to target suspects involved in child exploitation offenses are 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-2-ICE 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 and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango.