Between Feb. 12 and March 9, Morin used a peer-to-peer file sharing program and email to receive and distribute child pornography over the Internet.
A search of Morin's Pensacola home in March disclosed that he was in possession of a computer, hard drive and thumb drive containing more than 3,000 images and over 300 videos of child pornography. A number of the images depicted children under the age of 12 and involved sadomasochistic conduct.
At the time of his arrest, Morin was on probation for two counts of lewd and lascivious assault upon a child under the age of 16.
"This case demonstrates that there are serious consequences for possessing and distributing illegal images of innocent children being sexually exploited and traumatized," said Susan McCormick, ICE special agent in charge of the Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Tampa. "All children have an absolute right to grow up free from the fear of sexual exploitation. Through our partnerships with state, local and other federal law enforcement agencies, ICE will continue to police cyber space to investigate predators and ensure that they feel the full weight of the law."
The investigation that led to this case was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign-national predators whose crimes make them deportable.
Launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 12,800 individuals through Operation Predator. ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. 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.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched by the Department of Justice in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U. S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tiffany Eggers and Lorena Vollrath-Bueno.