Former Navy sailor stationed in Guam sentenced to 65 months for advertising child pornography | USAO-GU

Hagatña, Guam – SHAWN N. ANDERSON, United States Attorney for the Districts of Guam and Northern Mariana Islands, announced that defendant AUSTIN J. DODGE, 23, of Portland, Maine, has been sentenced in court of the United States District of Guam to 65 months imprisonment for advertising material involving child pornography, in violation of 18 USC §§ 2252A(a)(3)(B) and 2252A(b)(1). Dodge will also serve 10 years of probation and register as a sex offender after being incarcerated in federal prison.

On April 22, 2020, an undercover FBI agent in Minneapolis, Minnesota impersonated someone involved in the child pornography trade online on an app called “LiveMe.” LiveMe is a free social media application that allows an individual to stream live videos online. LiveMe users can post comments and interact with people in the video. Users can also create or join groups called “fams”, where like-minded people can chat or send messages to other users, post videos, images, text, and send links directing users to internet websites. In this case, the online identity that the FBI undercover agent took over was a member of several “fams” on LiveMe, where child pornography was exchanged either in chat or by posting links to a cloud file hosting service, such as Dropbox, for access. and download.

Between April 22, 2020 and April 23, 2020, the FBI undercover agent gained access to a LiveMe family called “LoveCP”. During the undercover agent’s recorded session, the group moderator LoveCP posted group rules that included a requirement that members actively post or they would be removed. On the evening of April 22, 2020, Central Standard Time, LiveMe SID 299614327 with the screen name “lucyliuc200”, was granted access to the LoveCP group. Lucyliuc200, later identified as Dodge, then posted a link to a cloud sharing website with the folder name labeled “live”. The undercover agent accessed this posted link and downloaded the contents of the folder. The dossier contained approximately 18 videos showing teenage girls and prepubescent women posing naked and engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Following the execution of a federal search warrant at Dodge’s residence on Naval Base Guam, officers discovered an additional video of child pornography on his tablet computer. This video depicts the only known victim of child sexual exploitation identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

“This is the first publicity case prosecuted in the District of Guam,” said U.S. Attorney Anderson. “This demonstrates the reach of federal law enforcement in combating this disturbing type of crime. The sentence imposed by the Court is a strong message of responsibility. Our office will pursue these cases whenever the evidence supports the prosecution. We thank our law enforcement partners for their great work in keeping our communities safe. »

“This sentence demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to identifying and investigating those who possess child pornography,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Steven Merrill. “As a result of this case, we have one less predator who can prey on the most vulnerable members of our society and can no longer exploit them. The FBI is grateful to partner with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service as we remain committed to the fight to protect our children who are the future of our nation.

This case was part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a national initiative of the United States Department of Justice to aggressively prosecute those who engage in the sexual victimization of children, possess or receive child pornography. and do not register as sex offenders. . For more information on the Safe Childhood Project, please visit https://www.justice.gov/psc.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Naval Criminal Investigative Service. This case was prosecuted by April Owen, Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Guam.

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