Monday, August 22, 2016
Anchorage, Alaska – United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that Sergey Silver, 41, resident of Wasilla, Alaska, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Ralph R. Beistline to 66 months in prison, to be followed by a 15-year term of supervised release, for possession of child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(4)(B). Silver pleaded guilty to the charge on January 13, 2016.
According to court documents and arguments made during today’s sentencing hearing, between November 4, 2014, and January 22, 2015, law enforcement downloaded child pornography from the defendant’s computer through an online file-sharing program. On March 11, 2015, law enforcement searched the defendant’s residence. Located on the defendant’s computer was evidence that he had recently run wiping software to delete the contents of the device. Nonetheless, law enforcement was able to recover evidence of the defendant’s use of a file-sharing program, and the names of approximately 200 files of child pornography that the defendant had downloaded and saved to his computer prior to March 11, 2015. Among these files were the images downloaded by law enforcement.
In sentencing the defendant, Judge Beistline discussed the nature and circumstances of the defendant’s conduct, including the impact the defendant’s crimes had on the minors depicted in the images that he traded. The images possessed by the defendant showed “victims being abused and being filmed…this is tragic,” said Judge Beistline. Judge Beistline’s sentence also recognized that the defendant’s online activities created a “market” for images of child pornography. According to Judge Beistline, the defendant’s sentence was intended to “protect victims so we have a safer community in which to raise our children.”
This case was investigated and prosecuted by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, and the Alaska Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. The Alaska ICAC is a federally and state funded task force managed by the Anchorage Police Department comprised of agents from federal, military, state, and local agencies. The purpose of the Alaska ICAC is to investigate online child exploitation crimes, including child pornography, enticement, and sex trafficking.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorney’s 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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov, or contact the District of Alaska’s Project Safe Childhood Coordinator at (907) 271-5071.