SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A 69-year-old Sacramento man previously convicted of receiving child pornography was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in federal prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release.
Albert Lee Mitchell appeared before U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller. The case stems from a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
A federal jury convicted Mitchell following a five-day trial in June. According to evidence presented at trial, on Nov. 5, 2012, agents executed at a search warrant at Mitchell’s residence after identifying an IP address located there offering files of child pornography. At the time of the search, dozens of images of suspected child pornography were set to be downloaded from a file-sharing network onto Mitchell’s computer. Mitchell admitted owning the computer and being its sole user. A forensic review of the computer and other devices found in Mitchell’s home office revealed a collection of thousands of depictions of child pornography.
Mitchell obstructed justice by lying under oath at trial and trying to blame a former friend for his crime. To bolster his defense, Mitchell testified about a computer password he alleged his friend had stolen. Mitchell presented a defense suggesting the password had then been found in a box containing his friend’s belongings.
At sentencing, Judge Mueller found that Mitchell committed a serious crime and compounded it by presenting a perjured defense at trial. She commented that Mitchell had a right to go to trial, but he “didn’t have the right to obstruct justice,” which she noted was a “significant aggravating factor.” Judge Mueller also found that the images had been carefully catalogued and arranged, indicating an “obsessive interaction” with the images.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Audrey B. Hemesath and Josh F. Sigal prosecuted the case.
This case is a product of HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators, and the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood, launched in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse nationwide.
Since its launch in 2003, Operation Predator has resulted in the arrest of more than 14,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page.
Led by the United States 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 those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about internet safety education.