Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Estel Henry Cook, Jr., age 56, of North East, Maryland, to 95 months in federal prison, followed by 25 years of supervised release, for possession of child pornography. Jude Bennett ordered Cook to pay $3,000 in restitution. Judge Bennett also ordered that, upon his release from prison, Cook must register as a sex offender in the places where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Special Agent in Charge James R. Mancuso of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; and Cecil County State’s Attorney James Dellmyer.
According to his guilty plea, in April 2019, an internet search engine sent two Cyber Tip reports to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCEMC) after a user uploaded child pornography. After investigation, Maryland State Police and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) discovered the IP addresses and subscriber information associated with the upload child pornography resolved to Cook’s North East residence.
On August 27, 2019, law enforcement executed a search warrant a Cook’s residence and seized his cell phone. A forensic analysis revealed that Cook possessed approximately 976 files of graphic child exploitive material including 348 videos and 628 images. The images depicted the sexual abuse of minors, including prepubescent minors and an infant.
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 the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the “Resources” tab on the left of the page.
Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended HSI, the Maryland State Police, and the Cecil County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation and prosecution. Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine L. Duey, who prosecuted the federal case.
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