Prosecution Brought Under Project Safe Childhood
ALBUQUERQUE - November 03, 2015 - Paul Keenahan, 44, of Albuquerque, N.M., was arraigned this morning on an indictment charging him with distribution and possession of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. During this morning’s proceedings, Keenahan was ordered detained pending trial based on judicial findings that he poses a risk of flight and a danger to the community.
The federal indictment charges Keenahan with three counts of distribution of child pornography and three counts of possession of child pornography. It alleges that Keenahan committed the six offenses in Bernalillo County, N.M., between Nov. 2012 and July 2015.
According to court filings, Keenahan was initially charged with related state child pornography crimes in July 2015, and was released on a bond that included the condition that he not leave Bernalillo County without prior permission from the state court. On Aug. 28, 2015, the U.S. Marshals Service arrested Keenahan in Syracuse, N.Y., on a state arrest warrant that was issued after Keenahan violated his bond conditions. A federal criminal complaint was filed on Sept. 4, 2015, and the U.S. Marshals Service arrested Keenahan, who was in custody in New York on Sept. 24, 2015, on the federal charges. The federal indictment was filed on Oct. 7, 2015, while Keenahan was in the process of being transferred from New York to New Mexico to face the federal charges against him. He made his initial appearance in federal court yesterday.
According to the criminal complaint, the investigation into Keenahan began in July 2015, when the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force received a tip that a particular IP address was being used to share child pornography. Investigation revealed that the IP address was subscribed to a motel on Candelaria Road NE in Albuquerque, where it allegedly was being used by Keenahan, who was then employed by the motel and living at the motel.
The criminal complaint alleges that officers executed a state search warrant at Keenahan’s room on July 23, 2015, and seized a laptop computer containing files allegedly consistent with child pornography. Keenahan was arrested on state charges that day. A forensic examination of Keenahan’s laptop computer revealed that it contained more than 10,000 files of alleged child pornography.
The penalty upon conviction on each of the three distribution of child pornography charges is a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years in federal prison. The penalty upon conviction on the possession charge is a maximum of ten years in federal prison. Charges in criminal complaints and indictments are merely accusations and criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was investigated by the New Mexico ICAC Task Force, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, Albuquerque office of the FBI, Office of the New Mexico Attorney General, and the U.S. Marshals Service with assistance from the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Mease is prosecuting the case as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and DOJ’s 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.justice.gov/psc/.
The case also was brought as a part of the New Mexico ICAC Task Force’s mission, which is to locate, track, and capture Internet child sexual predators and Internet child pornographers in New Mexico. There are 80 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies associated with the New Mexico ICAC Task Force, which is funded by a grant administered by the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General. Anyone with information relating to suspected child predators and suspected child abuse is encouraged to contact federal or local law enforcement.
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico
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