ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A federal jury convicted a Fairfax man today for downloading images and videos depicting children as young as four years old being sexually abused and for utilizing the Darknet to solicit and promote child pornography.
“The evidence admitted at trial demonstrated that thousands of images and videos of child sexual abuse were found on the defendant’s electronic devices,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “The trafficking of child pornography causes incalculable and irreparable harm to society’s most vulnerable victims, which often continues long after the abuse has occurred. Thanks to the painstaking efforts of our law enforcement partners and prosecutors on this case, the defendant has been held accountable by a jury of his peers for his heinous criminal conduct.”
According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Christopher Sueiro, 39, used a peer-to-peer network to download images and videos of child sexual abuse. Sueiro also was a member of a Darknet hidden service website dedicated to trafficking in child sexual abuse material of preteen boys, where he made posts promoting and soliciting images and videos of child sexual abuse and attempted to receive it from other users of the website. Sueiro’s electronic devices included documents describing graphic sexual abuse of children and a guide to finding child pornography online. The evidence showed that he downloaded images of child sexual abuse repeatedly over the course of at least four years, amassing thousands of images and videos.
Sueiro was convicted of receipt of child pornography, possession of child pornography, attempted receipt of child pornography, and promotion and solicitation of child pornography. Sueiro faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum penalty of 20 years for each count of conviction when sentenced on June 16. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting U.S. Attorney Raj Parekh for the Eastern District of Virginia; Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Special Agent in Charge Raymond Villanueva of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C.; and Colonel Erin Schaible, Chief of the City of Fairfax Police Department, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Rossie D. Alston Jr. accepted the verdict.
HSI and the City of Fairfax Police Department investigated the case, with significant assistance from the High Technology Investigative Unit (HTIU) of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS).
Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathaniel Smith III and CEOS Trial Attorney James E. Burke IV are prosecuting the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, 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.justice.gov/psc.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:17-cr-284.