A Rhode Island man was sentenced to 42 months in federal prison for using bitcoin to subscribe to a darkweb forum dedicated to the sharing of illegal content. This is one of a very small number of cases involving purchased content of this type.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Rhode Island published a press release containing the following:
A Warwick man who purchased, downloaded, and concealed videos of child pornography he obtained from the dark web with the use of bitcoin was sentenced today to 42 months in federal prison.
According to court documents, beginning in May 2017, Stephen P. Langlois, Jr., 34, used bitcoin to subscribe to an overseas child pornography website from which he acquired and downloaded more than 100 videos of child pornography. Some of these videos included sadistic depictions of children engaged in sexual activity. Langlois concealed the videos in a music folder on his laptop.
Langlois pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence on January 2, 2019, to possession of child pornography. He was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith to 42 months in federal prison to be followed by 10 years supervised release, and ordered to pay a mandatory assessment of $5,000 as provided for in the Justice for Victims Trafficking Act.
The case involved Homeland Security Investigations; the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Department; and the Rhode Island State Police.
Source: US DOJ
Between in or about May 2014 and in or about October 2018, in the District of Rhode Island, the defendant, STEPHEN P. LANGLOIS did knowingly possess, and access with intent to view, one or more matters which contained a visual depiction, that had been shipped and transported using any means and facility of interstate and foreign commerce, had been shipped and transported in and affecting interstate and foreign commerce, and which was produced using materials which had been mailed, shipped, and transported using any means and facility of interstate and foreign commerce, including by computer, the production of which involved the use of a minor who had not attained the age of 12 years engaging in sexually explicit conduct, and the visual depiction was of such conduct, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252(a)(4)(B) and (b)(2).