Just some days ago I completed my 51-month sentence for allegedly "knowingly possessing cild porn" (18 U.S. Code § 2252; unfortunately (or fortunately, after all!) I do not remember the exact accusation and I have no court records in my possession to check it from).
In genereal the pigs found from my possession ~700 pics and 1 video on 2 DVDs of total ~70 DVDs. Both DVDs date to years 2003-2004. One of them was even labled "My documents 2004" (contained ~35 pics (mixed together among personal photos", as the pig's Discovery said) and the other ~700 pics + 1 video (although the DVD wasnt labled accordingly, it still dated to aforementioned period because it contained the materials of one of the books I published in early 2003 and besides, the file information itself shows it).
So, what happened?
To start with, I was living in San Diego between 2011 and 2013 (I originally live in Northern Europe).
On early May 2nd 2013 a bunch of federal pigs (Homeland Security, to be exact!) invaded my apartement and claimed to be searching child porn. I explained, that as far as I know, I don't have any of it in my possession but I already had a good idea why they came and so I made a statement, that if they should deeply scan my computer, they may find traces of CP there, because time by time I use eMule and every now and then it downloads a couple of CP files too. Although I also stated that whenever possible I check files already during download process (*.part file / VLC Player) and cancel them if I'm not interested in them or they appear to be illegal. I also stated, that sometimes the file gets downloaded before I manage to pre-check it but in this case I just delete them, so the traces of some files that have once been on my HDD may be found with specific software.
The pigs were very interested in this explanation and asked a lot of additional questions, like "Do you know, what does "pthc" mean?" and "Have you actually looked at the downloaded CP files?" (well, of course I have, otherwise I wouldn't know, that they were CP and couldn't delete them, DUH!) and "How young do you thnk, the youngest children in those files were?" ETC.
At the same time they continued searching my apartement and scanning my devices. Bunch of pigs going through my stuff, one working on each of my devices and 1 scanning through my CDs/DVDs with some specific laptop that had a pack of 4 DVD drives attached underneath it!
After about 5-6 hours of searching something weird happened. Instead of arresting me (or letting me go instead ?) they called in ICE (immigration pigs) instead. As it became clear later, they didn't find any reason to arrest me but they also couldn't "let me just walk away so easily" (a quote from the Discoveries I read later). So they called in the ICE and let them take me away to some immigration slammer from where I was finally "arrested" (appearantly I wasn't arrested at first) on May 30th.
So, long story short: according to my lawyer (Public Defendres, of course because I had no money for a private lawyer) I was accused for knowingly possessing CP. He had no paperwork or any other information, so he "speculated" that I may be facing up to 8 years. Then he left. A week later he brought to me a plea agreement from prosecutor, from where I read, that the pigs had (finally) found ~700 pics + 1 video from 2 of my disks (don't ask me, why it took them 28 days, it seems weird to me too). So they offered me 51 months if I "confess" everything, otherwise they also try to charge me with transportation of those disks (according to my attorney and what I later read myself the pigs had proven, that those disks originated from some other country and were written before I came to US). I consulted to my wife, explained the outlooks and oportunities and we decided that I shouldn't risk with longer sentence because according to my attorney (and also to my wife's internet searches) the conviction rate in ederal system is unnaturally high - 93%. So it was clear, that I had no actual chance to win any case against them. Especially with the help of an attorney, payed by the same court, that should convict me . So I "confessed" and got my plea agreement.
Only after that it came to me, that I should actually see the Discoveries! So I asked it from my attorney, who mailed it to me. It was a 255-page thick stack. At first it looked impressive but as I was digging my way through it, it became clearer and clearer to me, what a BS it was. But for the starters it also revealed how they came to me in the first place.
Let us make this part clear: The D(iscoveries) begins in about mid-Nov 2012, saying something that the pigs entered to Kad Network to search the sharers/downloaders of illegal stuff. There they write, that they saw my IP address "sharing numerous files known to be CP, among them a video, named WhateverRandomFileName.abc (I don't remember the name, of course)." Follows the explicitly detailed description of that video...about 2 pages long. Seemed, that the pig who wrote this enjoyed every moment of it.
And that's it! Just this one video. Oh, but didn't they say that my IP was sharing NUMEROUS CP files!? Yes, they did. But isn't it weird, that they didn't even mention, what this "numerous" should mean? Does it mean 10? Or 100? Or 1000? Shouldn't they be VERY explicit and exact in this kind of cases? Found a CP-guy? Good! Now find out all about his activity - what, when, how much ETC! If you have time and willingness enough to write a 2-page long detailed overview about a 5 minute long video of a teen girl being f****d by her daddy, you should also be willing enough to document at least, HOW MUCH other videos did this CP-guy share/download! I don't ask you to describe their contents but just give us the list of them. But NO! They just mentioned this one video and that's it. Ok, let's see, what happens next...
Next entry is from around mid-January 2013 and it's almost exactly like the previous entry: "so we decided to see, who is sharing CP and we saw that guy again sharing nuuuuuumeous CP files and among those there was also a video, named WhateverRandomFileName.abc." The same name as before and also the same description as before. And that's again it. Nothing else but "numerous files".
Ok, so they took a search warrant from the judge, explaining to him, that they know exactly what they are doing and they are sure, they will find the motherload from my home etc...etc and then they came. And they found the whole bunch of ~700 pics and the whole load of 1 video.
Oh, did I tell you, what video was it? Well, fortunately they wrote it down into the Discoveries, so I could read it. Well, it was a video, namedWhateverRandomFileName.abc. And follows the same description as before. The whole 2 pages of CP-novel.
So, what's the point? The point is, that allegedly I was sharing the same video I had on CD since 2003. Well, I don't really know how it goes on in a real CP communion, but it seems a bit unrealistic to me that
1. I download 1 CP-video in 2003 in my home country and write it on the same CD with the printing materials of a book I publish,
2. I go to USA, take this CD with me,
3. I set up eMule (to share CP, of course!),
4. I copy the aforementioned video to shared folder,
5. I SHARE it! Along with "numerous" other CP files, of course.
Sounds like a real deal, doesn't it? The only problem is, that there was not a single CP file found from my computer or any other device. Not a video, named WhateverRandomFileName.abc neither any of those "numerous" others.
Oh, for the sake of truth I have to mention, that the pigs actually DID find something from my computer. They found exactly what I told them they may find: some traces of some CP-files. There are sometimes some I-dont-know-what-kind-of temp files that remain into some-sort-of temp folders if you delete a file. Or something like that, I'm not very savvy with this type of things. Anyways they found a couple of 1KB files, that had names of some CP-files. SO, NO ACTUAL CP WAS FOUND IN MY COMPUTER!
As of this video, named WhateverRandomFileName.abc - there was not even a trace of it in my computer.
Ok, what I think, what and why happened, was the following:
I like porn. Can't deny. So I have downloaded it from eMule and earlier from Kazaa for ages. Also for ages I have recieved all sorts of unwanted material instead of wanted material. Mostly just viruses and useless or fake junk but sometimes also CP. Sometimes CP has a misleading file name, so you may download it, thinking, it's something else. This is not a very usual case (in my judgement). Mostly it found it's way to me whan I was careless myself. Well, on some drunk friday night, seconds from passing away I entered a search term, selected all the results that had at least some seeders and pushed ENTER. So that eMule could do it's job while I'm sleeping. Next day, when I become clear, I would go and check the progress and delete unwanted junk and cancel unwanted downloads (well, in this type of mass drunk-downloading you also get a massive load of junk that you mostly have already seen or just aren't interested in). Among them occasionally also CP files.
So, how do they end up among your downloads? If you search something very vague (f**k, s**k, c*m, a**l etc), you just get a wide variety of results. Maybe your intention was purely heterosexual, for instance, but you also get a lot of gay files, that contain the same words. The same with CP...
Next unlucky step is the moment, when you miss that unwanted file and it ends up in some vague sub-folder in MyDocuments. Or, as I suspect, how I managed to get those 700 pics - you right-click a downloaded rar-file you think contains something else and choose "unpack here" and only after that notice, that it unpacked hundreds of numerically named folders among hundreds of folders you already had and among them thousands of pictures among thousands of pictures you already had....so you have to find all of them manually and delete them and hope that none of them escapes.... Well, I really didn't care too much about it. I mean, I didn't go paranoid about it because I was sure, that nobody never bothers me withs this because I'm not searching/downloading it intentionally, so whenever it may happen, the monitoring pigs should notice, that this is accidental and so they won't bother coming to get me. I mean, I believed that there is some common sense left in the world, so that even if they come to get me for any other reason and instead find a couple of CP files, they just shrug and understand that this is coincidental anomaly and I actually have nothing to do with it and leave me alone. In my country (where maximum sentence for possessing CP is 12 months, compared to a minimum of 27-33 months in USA (basic offense level 18, IF UNDER 10 IMAGES were found or 46-57 months, if more than 600 images were found!!!!)) this is the exact thing that would have happened. But apparently not all countries have common sense left.
So I got my 51 months, spent 30 of them in a shitty, cheap but quiet low-sec prison in southern Georgia. Applied to Treaty Transfer, got transferred to home country, where my sentence was reduced, so I was released just recently and decided to rant about it for a little.
I can't really say, it's a massive problem beause I think, it happens maybe in less than 1% on times but think - if you mass-download (or just start mass-downloading) a couple of hundred files every weekend, you also end up with couple of s**t-files every week. Maybe you never atually even complete the downloads but if you're the unlucky guy, the pigs make their note and come to visit you some day. They visited me. Later I learned that US pigs visit a lot of unsuspecting guys for more or less similar reasons and usually they get their time. On my pretrial months in holding facility, among 18 "protected subjects" I met 2 guys with exactly the same fate as mine. Others never denied anything. But they had actually lots and lots of laughs when heared that I was charged with the possession of 700 pics and 1 video. Because according to them there just ISN'T any way today that ANYBODY, who is really into this stuff and knowingly downloads it, will be arrested with less than about 100 times more junk than I was. And I see the reason! It's just SO easy to get it, that anybody into this will end up with thousands of pics and tens of videos by the end of the first day... The US guidelines in this case are just HORRIBLY inadequate!
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Child Porn; Warning; My Story About what may happen to you
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