A Fairfax, Virginia, man was sentenced to 20 years behind bars Wednesday for downloading images and videos depicting children as young as 4 being sexually abused.
The Department of Justice said in a release that, according to court documents, Christopher Robert Sueiro, 40, used the Darknet to solicit and promote child pornography, eventually amassing thousands of images and videos over the course of at least four years.
He was a member of a Darknet site dedicated to trafficking in pornography depicting preteen boys, where he made posts promoting and soliciting images and videos and attempted to receive explicit material from other users, the DOJ said.
Sueiro’s electronic devices included documents describing graphic sexual abuse of children and a guide explaining how to find child pornography online.
He got the attention of law enforcement when investigators searched Sueiro’s digital devices during an unrelated online threats investigation.
“For years, this defendant used the internet, including the dark web, to solicit, obtain and promote images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of children,” said Raj Parekh, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.
“The trafficking of child pornography is egregious and repugnant behavior, and as today’s sentence demonstrates, will be met with serious consequences in EDVA. We are grateful to everyone who worked tirelessly on this case to secure a measure of justice on behalf of society’s most vulnerable victims.”
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the City of Fairfax Police Department investigated the case.
“The Department of Justice is committed to tracking down people like Christopher Sueiro who traffic in haunting images and videos of children during their worst moments and who perpetuate the grievous harm to the victims,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. for the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
Raymond Villanueva, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in D.C., said: “Each time someone downloads child pornography, the child is victimized all over again … predators cannot hide behind the cloak of the internet; our special agents and law enforcement partners work tirelessly to identify them and ensure they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
The case against Sueiro was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.