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State Department Employee Makes Deal in Child Porn Case
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James Cafferty

Summary: A Department of State diplomatic security officer who has been on the FBI’s watch list for over five years made a plea to one felony count for child pornography.

Diplomatic security officer for the Department of State was caught in an undercover FBI child pornography operation.  The officer pleaded guilty to one felony count after striking a deal with federal prosecutors. James Cafferty, 45, pleaded to transporting child pornography. Cafferty faced a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison but the judge could have sentenced him up to 20 years. In the end, he was sentenced to seven years.

  
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Cafferty’s most recent position was at the U.S. Embassy in London. In the plea agreement filed in a U.S. District Court in Tampa, he admitted to bringing 15,000 images of child pornography on three hard drives with him on his trip back from England in August. The images were both photos and videos.

A search of his Largo, Florida home by law enforcement found over 30,000 child porn images on digital storage media devices. When questioned by federal agents, he admitted to “photo-shopping himself into scenes constituting child pornography.”

The investigation into him began over fiver years ago when an Immigration and Customs Enforcement probe uncovered 5,000 U.S. residents who had paid to subscribe to websites providing child pornography. This list of U.S. residents who had purchased access to illicit sites like “Sick Room” included Cafferty’s name. He was then flagged because of his role as a State Department employee.

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An undercover operation by the Department of Defense with the help of the FBI was started in 2011. Since Cafferty’s subscriptions to the illicit pages were now several years old, they needed to determine if he was still using his Yahoo email accounts to access child pornography. The operation by the FBI was to offer illicit videos for free on an undercover website to see if they could “reel” in any takers. Cafferty’s was one of the takers. He logged into the undercover website from a London IP address. He attempted to download a video of “a 9-10 y.o. girl and man” engaging in sexual activities.

How many years do you think someone like Cafferty should be sentenced to? Tell us in the comments below.



To learn more about undercover operations, read these articles:

Photo: wemeantwell.com



 

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