Sacto 9-1-1
December 1, 2011
Sacramento man pleads guilty to possessing child pornography

Sean Howard, 35, of Sacramento pleaded guilty today in federal court to possessing child pornography.

According to court documents, Howard, in 2006, used an internet file-sharing network to download images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Howard deleted the images after they were discovered by his ex-wife, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

In February of this year, law enforcement agents with the Sacramento Valley Hi-Tech Crimes Task Force identified a computer at Howard's address offering files of child pornography through the Gnutella file-sharing network. On Feb. 8, agents downloaded 10 files of child pornography.

Federal agents executed a search warrant March 28 and seized two computers and an external hard drive from Howard's residence. A computer forensic examination found approximately 45 images and five videos of child pornography on his desktop computer that had been downloaded between Jan. 26 and March 22.

The images were first saved on Howard's computer, but in an attempt to delete them, he moved them to the recycle folder, officials said. Howard claimed the sexually explicit activity that they showed involving minors was too graphic for him. Howard is to be sentenced March 5 by U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller.

The case resulted form an investigation by the Sacramento Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The federally funded task force is managed by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department and made up of agents from federal, state and local agencies.

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