Federal Child Pornography Charges Against Vt. Teacher Are Dropped; No Evidence He Knew Images Were on Computer

September 1, 2012

The Republic on September 1, 2012 released the following:

“THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

BENNINGTON, Vt. — Federal child pornography charges against a former Vermont elementary school teacher have been dismissed, but his lawyer lamented that the man had already lost his job and reputation.

John Dockum, 34, had pleaded not guilty in February to state charges on five felony counts of possession of child pornography. The state dismissed its charges, allowing federal prosecutors to review the case. He was never formally indicted, and federal prosecutors filed a motion Friday to dismiss their case, according to the Bennington Banner (http://bit.ly/N5h5Es).

    A police deposition showed there’s no evidence Dockum knew he had child pornography images on his computer, which is a necessary component of criminal possession, said Dockum’s attorney, David Silver of Bennington.

He said Dockum had visited a website that placed the 17 images that led to the charges into his computer’s temporary Internet cache.

The Bennington School District fired Dockum in February. He had taught at Monument Elementary School since 2009.

Silver called the case “a tragedy,” adding that his client was a popular teacher and has lost his job and reputation.

“I don’t know how he gets that back,” he said.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Former School Security Officer Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

November 6, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on November 4, 2011 released the following:

“BIRMINGHAM— FBI agents today arrested a former Birmingham City Schools security officer and substitute bus driver for Shelby County Schools on child pornography charges, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and FBI Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Maley.

A joint investigation by Birmingham Police and the FBI led to this morning’s arrest of MICHAEL WAYNE WOOTEN, 60, of Alabaster. Wooten was arrested in Bessemer. He is charged in a criminal complaint with receiving child pornography and with possessing a computer, computer disk, and other material containing child pornography.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert R. Armstrong Jr. detained Wooten following an initial court appearance this morning. Armstrong scheduled a detention hearing for Wooten at 1:30 p.m. Monday.

“Birmingham Police and the FBI worked diligently in this case to take someone who preys on children off the streets,” Vance said.

“This investigation uncovered sexually explicit photographs we believe were taken in a studio Wooten set up in a closed Birmingham school building,” Vance said. “Not all victims shown in the photographs have been identified, and the investigation continues. We ask that anyone who believes they may have any information related to this case please call the FBI, toll free, at 1-866-372-0209. The call will be returned,” Vance said.

According to an FBI affidavit supporting the arrest complaint, results of a forensic examination of Wooten’s computer were received by investigators in October and showed graphic pornographic images of at least five girls who appear to be under age 12. The pictures show the children involved in sexually explicit conduct, including images that depict Wooten engaging in actual or simulated sexual intercourse, according to the affidavit.

The pictures appear to have been taken in the office of Dupuy Elementary, a closed school building in the Birmingham City School System, according to the affidavit. Wooten worked as a security officer for Birmingham City Schools from July 1997 until May 2011. In that capacity, he did not have unsupervised access to students, according to Birmingham Schools spokeswoman Michaelle Chapman.

A Shelby County Schools official said Wooten qualified for a bus-driving license with the system this year after passing all pre-employment requirements, including a criminal background review. Wooten has substituted on 21 days since school started Aug. 11, the official said.

Wooten told investigators in April 2010 that he shared the office at Dupuy Elementary School with another security guard. Wooten said he set up a studio at the office to photograph children in order to build his art portfolio. A Birmingham Police officer and an FBI agent searched the office in April 2010 after law enforcement was alerted that Wooten had taken a 9-year-old girl to the empty school and photographed her in several outfits, including sexually explicit costumes, the affidavit states.

In the search, the officers found five plastic bins containing girls’ clothing, including dresses, bathing suits, and thong underwear.

Only the 9-year-old girl has been identified and interviewed by law enforcement. Investigators hope to identify the other children in the photographs, and any other children who might be victims in the case.

Birmingham Police and the FBI investigated the case, with assistance from Birmingham City Schools’ security. Hoover and Alabaster police assisted in today’s arrest. The matter is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel J. Fortune.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Zacchaeus Andrew Crawford Indicted by a Jacksonville Federal Grand Jury on Federal Child Pornography Charges

August 19, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 19, 2011 released the following:

“Jacksonville Man Indicted on Federal Child Pornography Charges

JACKSONVILLE, FL— United States Attorney Robert E. O’Neill announced today that Zacchaeus Andrew Crawford (25, Jacksonville) has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Jacksonville on child pornography charges. Crawford is charged with receipt, transportation, and possession of child pornography. On each of the receipt and transportation counts, Crawford faces at least five years and up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. On the possession count, Crawford faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Crawford was arrested and had his initial appearance in federal court today. His arraignment and detention hearing will be held in federal court in Jacksonville before United States Magistrate Judge Monte C. Richardson on August 24, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. Until that time, Crawford remains in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Jacksonville and Phoenix, Arizona. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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John A. Crowe, a TSA Screener, Arraigned on Federal Child Pornography Charges

June 30, 2011

U.S. Attorneys Office District of New Mexico on June 30, 2011 released the following press release:

“ALBUQUERQUE – This morning in federal court in Albuquerque, John A. Crowe, 51, was arraigned on a five-count indictment charging him with child pornography offenses. The indictment charges Crowe with (1) advertising a visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct; (2) transporting a visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct; (3 & 4) distribution and attempted distribution of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct on two separate dates; and (5) possession of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. If convicted of the charges in the indictment, Crowe faces a maximum penalty of imprisonment for not less than 15 years and not more than 30 years and will be required to register as a sex offender. Crowe entered a not guilty plea to the indictment during this morning’s proceedings. Crowe has been in federal custody since his arrest on a criminal complaint on May 28, 2011; he remains detained pending trial, which has yet to be scheduled.

Crowe was employed as a screener by the United States Transportation Security Administration and recently had relocated to Albuquerque from Ohio when he was arrested on child pornography charges on May 28, 2011. United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that Crowe was arrested in Albuquerque based on an investigation by the New Mexico State Police (NMSP) and the United States Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

The criminal complaint alleges that, based on investigation in March and April of 2011, the NMSP and HSI learned that an IP address subscribed to by Crow at an Albuquerque address was being used to distribute child pornography. On May 26, 2011, officers and agents of the NMSP and HSI executed a search warrant at Crowe’s apartment and seized a computer and computer-related media. According to the complaint, Forensic investigation revealed that the computer contained images and videos of child pornography, including images and videos that appeared to have been taken with a hidden camera in a bedroom and bathroom in an unidentified residence. Several images that appeared to be taken with a hidden camera were of young females, both clothed and unclothed, who appeared to be under the age of 18.

According to the complaint, on May 28, 2011, after being advised of his Miranda rights, Crowe participated in a consensual interview during which he allegedly stated that he had obtained certain images and videos containing child pornography in Ohio, Alabama and Georgia by use of a hidden camera. Crowe allegedly stated that some of the minors in the images and videos were daughters of his past girlfriends, and that, when he moved from Ohio to Albuquerque in November 2010, he brought his computer, which contained the images and videos of child pornography, with him. Crowe also allegedly stated that he continued to have contact with three of the minors depicted in the images and videos that contained the child pornography.

Charges in indictments are only accusations. All criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Charlyn E. Rees, and was investigated by the NMSP and HSI. The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

The case also was brought as part of the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force whose mission it is to locate, track, and capture Internet child sexual predators and Internet child pornographers in New Mexico. There are 61 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies associated with the Task Force, which is funded by a grant administered by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office. Anyone with information relating to suspected child predators and suspected child abuse is encouraged to contact federal or local law enforcement.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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