Third internet predator captured

Members of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force from the Tuckerman Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office made their third arrest Saturday, Dec. 8.

Sheriff David Lucas, Tuckerman Police Chief Don Black and Tuckerman Officers Chris McClellan and Shannon Webb staked out a residence on Dowell Ave. after just a week of undercover Internet investigation, lasting from Dec. 2 to Dec. 8.

During this investigation, Brit John Olen Yates, 29, of Jonesboro is alleged to have participated in online Internet chats with three undercover investigators from the Sheriff’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force who were posing as 13 and 14-year-old females.

At approximately 7:30 p.m., Yates drove to Dowell Ave. from Jonesboro, allegedly to engage in sexual intercourse with what he believed to be a 13-year-old female. As Yates arrived at the prearranged location, he was taken into custody.

Yates was then transported to the Jackson County Detention Center where he was charged with three counts of Internet Stalking of a Child, a Class B felony, and three counts of Sexual Indecency with a Child, a Class D felony.

“This type of cooperation between the Sheriff’s Office and the Tuckerman Police Department is just an example of how the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force can and will work,” Sheriff Lucas stated. “It is an excellent demonstration of how all of the law enforcement agencies in Jackson County can work together to protect the children of our communities. I would like to commend Chief Black for allowing his officers to be a part of this Task Force and also for the work his department does for the protection of the Tuckerman citizens.”

Published in: on December 13, 2007 at 2:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

Newport News man pleads guilty in child porn case

A Newport News man has pleaded guilty in federal court to two counts of receiving child pornography, admitting to knowingly receiving two images of a child engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

As part of the guilty plea, entered this week in U.S. District Court in Norfolk, David Andrew Merritt also acknowledged sending a New Hampshire man, Judson Stockton, a manila envelope containing a blue thong bikini and shorts for a child to model.

In return, the statement said, Stockton sent Merritt pictures.

The child was described in court documents only as “Jane Doe.” It was unclear how old the girl was, or what the relationship was between her and Stockton.

Merritt had originally been charged with 12 counts of receiving the child pornography, but pleaded guilty to two, with the other charges dropped as part of the guilty plea, entered on Monday. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years for each of the two convictions, with a maximum of 30 years for each.

Published in: on December 13, 2007 at 4:59 am  Leave a Comment  

Isle au Haut man faces federal child porn charges

An Isle au Haut man previously arrested by Maine State Police on child pornography charges is now facing a federal charge of possession of child pornography.

Jon Rogers Hughes, 46, who is a former School Union 76 board member, is accused of possessing materials containing images of child pornography that were transported in interstate commerce, and were produced using materials that had been transported in foreign commerce, according to U.S. District Court documents.

On Wednesday, a scheduled detention hearing by telephone was postponed to Monday, Dec. 17 at 3 p.m., according to a U.S. District Court clerk.

The detention hearing was continued to allow for additional time to find community sources of housing and supervision for the defendant, according to court records.

Initially, Hughes was arrested Oct. 23 on the island by Maine State Police Detective Laurie Northrup and other law enforcement officers. Isle au Haut is an island, located in Penobscot Bay, seven miles south of Deer Isle-Stonington. It is part of Knox County.

Hughes was accused of possessing hundreds of pornographic images depicting children, some showing children perhaps as young as 4 years old, according to an affidavit filed in court by Northrup.

Hughes also was alleged to have videotaped a teenager, who unknowingly was being filmed via a hidden camera disguised as a radio in a private bathroom, according to court documents.

Hughes made his initial appearance in Sixth District Court on Oct. 23 on state charges of possession of sexually explicit materials and violation of privacy. Bail had been set at $7,500 cash.

Last week, those state charges were dismissed in Knox County Superior Court.

When the case was turned over to federal officers, Special Agent Martin J. Conley of the U.S. Secret Service filed the federal charge of possession of child pornography.

Since his arrest on a federal charge, Hughes has been held at Cumberland County Jail in Portland. He was still being detained there on Wednesday, according to a jail officer. No further information was available.

If he is convicted, the federal Class C felony carries a penalty of not more than 10 years imprisonment and/or not more than a $250,000 fine.

About two weeks before his initial arrest, Hughes resigned from the school board.

Published in: on December 13, 2007 at 4:58 am  Leave a Comment  

Lawyer pleads guilty to possessing child porn

A lawyer pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court possessing child pornography and two other men were sentenced to prison terms for the same charges, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten’s office announced.

Mayer Finkelstein, 65, of New Orleans, faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine following his guilty plea to a felony charge of child porn possession. U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance scheduled sentencing March 5.

The FBI searched Finkelstein’s home and law office on May 14 and seized computers containing more than 600 images of child porn, Letten’s office said.

Also Wednesday, Michael Larrieu, 19, of New Orleans, and Christopher Bland, 22, of Hammond, were sentenced to prison terms of 40 months and 63 months, respectively, after both pleaded guilty to possessing child porn.

Published in: on December 13, 2007 at 4:57 am  Leave a Comment