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Greenland man pleads guilty to possessing child pornography

New Hampshire Union Leader

January 16. 2018 11:43PM

CONCORD — A Greenland man pleaded guilty in federal court this week to possessing more than 100 images of child pornography on several electronic devices in his home.

Jason Stone, 39, of Greenland pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Concord to possessing child pornography, said Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley in a news release.

According to court documents and statements made in court, police executed a search warrant at Stone’s Portsmouth Avenue residence in October 2016. A review of various electronic devices found in the residences showed that they contained more than 100 images and videos of child pornography.

Investigators first identified the images in question in June 2015 while agents were monitoring the chat-based website called ChatStep.

ChatStep users were allegedly sharing child pornography in a chat room called “OODEP”, a derivation of “pedo” spelled backwards, according to an affidavit sworn by Jonathan Posthumus, a special agent with the Department of Homeland Security.

According to Posthumus, an investigator monitoring ChatStep saw a user share a photo and links to two videos that clearly depicted children engaged in sexual acts, according to investigators.

The image depicted a girl between the ages of 10 and 14 years old, the affidavit said.

On Aug. 1, 2015, the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children regarding child pornography posted to an online bulletin board that also appeared linked to a user in Greenland, according to the affidavit.

Authorities were able to trace the supposed origin of the images to a Greenland home using the IP address of the computer used to post and subpoenaing account information from the internet service provider.

A Portsmouth police detective serving on the New Hampshire task force also uncovered evidence child pornography was being shared over a peer-to-peer network.

Details about the investigation became public when Posthumus’ affidavit was recently unsealed by a judge. Stone is scheduled to be sentenced on May 1.

“Child pornography crimes jeopardize the innocence of young people,” said Farley in a statement. “Through the Project Safe Childhood initiative, the U.S. Attorney’s Office works closely with our law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute those who possess child pornography, as well as those who produce or distribute this material.”

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