standing Courts

A Westerly man convicted in October of possessing and sharing child pornography has been sentenced to more than 7 years months in federal prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release.

The man, Jonathan Breslin, 33, was sentenced this month before Judge John J. McConnell Jr. in U.S. District Court in Providence. He was one of 78 people charged as part of an international investigation into online users who were exchanging sexually explicit images involving minors and sending images to minors via social media, court records show.

Breslin has been in custody since his arrest on Aug. 9, 2017, court documents show, and will receive credit for credit for 17 months served; his prison sentence was 87 months. He pleaded guilty on Oct. 10, 2018, to federal charges of possession of child pornography, transferring obscene material to a minor, and two counts of receipt and distribution of child pornography.

According to court documents, Breslin was identified as a suspect in 2016. A police officer in Saskatchewan, Canada, told the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that the cellphone of a man arrested in an unrelated case there contained a mobile chat application that was being used by a worldwide child pornography network.

One of the IP addresses that were in the network was traced back to Breslin.

A Homeland Security Investigations agent, posing as someone interested in child pornography, engaged with Breslin in a series of conversations. Federal authorities, with help from the Westerly police, served a warrant on Breslin's home in a raid with in August 2017. The Rhode Island State Police and the Warwick Police Department also assisted in the investigation.

Agents seized a computer, digital media storage device and a cellphone during the raid, and a forensic audit led authorities to find at least 275 images and 46 videos containing child pornography.

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