2015 Internet Sex Sting Predictions
2014 is coming to an end today and as the New Year begins my prediction is that you will see a dramatic increase in child pornography sex stings. Over the course of 2014 the number of people arrested in the typical sting decreased, probably due to the awareness of the public and the justified reluctance of anybody to even converse with anyone who remotely hints that they are a minor or underage. As the police try and maintain their statistics, they are going to have to change their tactics. My bet is that you will see an increase in undercover police activity where they try and entice people to send or exchange kiddie porn. They will run teaser ads on Craigslist and other social media and when they engage someone in chat you are going to see them suggest an interest in the exchange of pics of underage children engaging in sexually explicit conduct. In Sarasota and Manatee County my prediction is a major increase in child pornography arrests during 2015.
There will of course be the regular child porn cases originated by tips to ICAC from Google, Internet Explorer, Mozilla and the other search engines. Kiddie porn photos all have hash values. This is like a fingerprint that the FBI and other agencies keep cataloging a vast library of known identified prohibited images. If somehow you receive a video or photo of an underage person, chances are Google will notify ICAC and a report will be generated and sent to the local cops for investigation. This is usually followed up with the issuance of a search warrant for the location of the IP address that received the image. If law enforcement comes to your door stating that they are conducting an investigation, and they do not have a search warrant, never surrender your computer voluntarily and never, no never answer any questions without calling an experienced child pornography lawyer. Some criminal defense lawyers are not experienced in this area of the law and unaware of the technicalities and details of kiddie porn cases. If the computer is located in a house occupied by more than one person, they still have to prove who was sitting behind the computer when the image was received or sent and all they need is an admission or a “password”.
Sadly, some people end up with child pornography on their computer unintentionally. In the process of viewing adult porn sometimes the images come in accidentally. This is not a willful or intentional possession of child pornography. I have a suspicion that over the years, the police have been sending child pornography and then trying to make cases. In the perfect world, the police should be honest and not violate the law. In the real world, there are some bad cops that will do anything to make a case. Do not fall victim to police initiated conduct.
Never intentionally view child pornography and never send it to anyone. The State sentencing guidelines and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines are horrible and you will score for prison. In Sarasota County and in Manatee County the State Attorney’s office will run up the guidelines charging you with a separate second degree felony for each ten child pornography images.If they find 100 Child porn , kiddie porn, adolescent child pornography images, one file, on your computer you could find yourself facing ten charges and decades in prison. If contacted, call today for a free consultation at 941 366 3506