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Leominster Man Convicted of Distribution of Child Pornography, Reports U.S. Attorney.

WORCESTER, Mass. -- A Leominster man pleaded guilty today in federal court to possessing and distributing more than 1,000 images of child pornography while he was on probation and under a State suspended sentence for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan and Kenneth R. Jones, Postal Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in New England, announced today that CHRISTOPHER ALBERT, age 40, of 15 Franklin Street, Leominster, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton to a three count indictment charging him with possession of child pornography, distribution of child pornography, and interstate transmission of child pornography.

ALBERT came to the attention of law enforcement officers when those officers executed a search warrant in April 2000, on the Gardner, Massachusetts residence of an individual named Christopher Jones. Jones explained that he and ALBERT had met in an Internet chat room for men with a romantic or sexual interest in young boys. According to documents filed with the Court, Jones and ALBERT struck up a friendship on the Internet, and sometime in November or December 1999, ALBERT provided Jones with approximately 1,500 images of child pornography.

A search warrant was subsequently executed on ALBERT's Leominster home on April 19, 2000. During the search, law enforcement officers uncovered ALBERT's extensive collection of child pornography and child erotica, including numerous images of prepubescent boys engaged in sexual acts. Agents also discovered that in April 1998, ALBERT transmitted child pornography to a man in California named Steve Moreno. When agents interviewed Moreno as part of this investigation, Moreno confirmed that ALBERT had sent him child pornography. Agents also searched Moreno's California home and discovered evidence that Moreno had been sexually assaulting a young boy. Moreno was ultimately charged and convicted by state authorities on two counts of child molestation and sentenced to 16 years in prison.

At the time federal agents discovered ALBERT's extensive collection of child pornography, he was on probation in the Leominster District Court on a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was also undergoing his second round of sex offender treatment. As a result of the evidence discovered on April 19, 2000, ALBERT's probation was revoked and he was sentenced to 11 months in the Worcester County House of Correction. Since serving that sentence, ALBERT has been held in federal custody.

Christopher Jones was also convicted on child pornography possession charges and was sentenced to 1 year and 6 months' incarceration, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release with intensive sex offender treatment.

Judge Gorton scheduled sentencing for January 13, 2003 at 3:00pm. ALBERT faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years' incarceration on these charges, and a maximum of 55 years, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release, and a $750,000 fine. ALBERT's sentence will be enhanced in this case because at the time of these offenses, ALBERT had already been convicted of a crime of abusive sexual conduct involving a minor -- a 1997 conviction on three counts of indecent assault and battery on a minor in Gardner District Court.

This matter was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Massachusetts State Police. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John T. McNeil in Sullivan's Major Crimes Unit.

CONTACT: Samantha Martin of the U.S. Attorney's Office, +1-617-748-3139
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 28, 2002
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