New Zealand Man Sentenced to Five Years for Transporting Child Pornography
Portland, Maine: United States Attorney Halsey B. Frank announced that Bobby Mataara Owens, 41, of Turangi, New Zealand, was sentenced on Wednesday in U.S. District Court by Chief Judge Nancy Torresen to five years in prison and by ten years of supervised release for transporting child pornography.
Owens pleaded guilty on September 1, 2017.
According to court records, in December 2016, a federal agent in Maine was investigating the sharing of child pornography over the internet. The agent chatted online with Owens, who sent the agent several images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Further investigation revealed that Owens was using an IP address assigned to a residence in Valley Village, California.
A federal search warrant was obtained for the residence and executed later the same day. Owens was present at the residence, and admitted to investigators that he had sent the images to the agent earlier in the day.
The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the FBI and the Los Angeles, California Police Department.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better 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.justice.gov/psc.
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