SCRANTON, Pa. - A federal grand jury Tuesday charged a Pike County, Pa., man with a variety of child pornography charges following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP). The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) also assisted in the investigation.
Michael Bonsignore, 44, of Dingmans Ferry, Pa., was charged with production, distribution, receipt and possession of child pornography between March 2007 and April 2011. Allegedly, Bonsignor produced child pornography videos and then distributed them over the Internet.
An ICE tip to Swedish law enforcement led to the discovery of unidentified victims of child pornography which apparently originated in Pennsylvania. From that information the PSP and HSI were able to identify the victims. A forensic analysis of Bonsignore's computer enabled HSI agents to arrest him on April 21, 2011.
"Sexually exploiting children is a crime that has long-lasting traumatic effects on the most vulnerable members of our society," said John P. Kelleghan, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Philadelphia. "HSI and its law enforcement partners work tirelessly to investigate child predators who seek to sexually exploit innocent children and bring them to justice."
Bonsignore is being detained by the U.S. Marshals Service pending trial. If convicted, Bonsignore faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum of life.
Special agents and PSP investigators in Pennsylvania also developed leads in the case which led to the arrest by ICE agents in San Diego of a El Cajon, Calif., preschool teachers on child pornography charges. More information about that investigation is available by clicking here.