Feds raid Westerly man’s home, charge him with child pornography offenses

Feds raid Westerly man’s home, charge him with child pornography offenses


PROVIDENCE — A 32-year-old Westerly man was arrested Wednesday and ordered held in federal custody on a litany of child pornography charges.

Police said they raided the residence of Jonathan Breslin, 32, on the strength of a federal warrant Wednesday morning and seized a computer, a digital media storage device and a cell phone, all of which allegedly contained child pornography. The search was conducted by agents from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and members of the Rhode Island State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, with assistance from members of the Westerly and Warwick police departments.

Police took Breslin into custody after the raid and he appeared later in the day before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan in Providence, who ordered him detained in federal custody.

According to court documents, a law enforcement officer in Saskatchewan, Canada, arrested someone in March on an unrelated matter and discovered a mobile chat app on the person’s cell phone that was used to discuss and share child pornography among a network of users. Saskatchewan police identified 78 unique users who were part of the network, including Breslin.

After more investigation by an HSI agent in Rhode Island, including online chats between Breslin and the agent, who was posing as someone interested in discussing, viewing and sharing child pornography, the arrest warrant was applied for.

Breslin is charged with receiving and distributing child pornography, possessing and accessing with intent to view child pornography, transfer of obscene material to a minor via interstate commerce, and attempted production of child pornography.

The Rhode Island Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force comprises members of the Rhode Island State Police Computer Crimes Unit and detectives with the Warwick, Cranston, Newport, East Providence, Pawtucket, North Kingstown, Portsmouth and Woonsocket police departments and agents from the His and U.S. Postal Inspection Services.

— Sun staff

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