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Madera Man Sentenced to 12 Years and 7 Months in Prison for Receiving and Distributing Child Pornography

Acting United States Attorney Lawrence G. Brown announced today that PETER RALPH OHANIAN, 57, of Madera, California, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill to 12 years and seven months in prison to be followed 15 years of supervised release. OHANIAN was also ordered to pay a fine of $5,000 to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. He pleaded guilty to receipt and distribution of child pornography on February 20, 2009.

This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the Fresno Cyber Crimes Task Force, which includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Fresno Police Department, Fresno Sheriff’s Department, and California Department of Justice.

According to Assistant United States Attorney Sheila K. Oberto who prosecuted the case, OHANIAN came to the attention of law enforcement after engaging in an online conversation with, and sending images of child pornography to, an undercover agent in December 2007.

Following the execution of a search warrant at OHANIAN’s home on February 13, 2008, law enforcement found a computer tower with a missing hard drive and the side panel removed, exposing the internal components. The monitor and peripherals were powered and connected to the tower. Agents found one of the computer hard drives in the toilet and two other hard drives containing child pornography in the garage.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information, visit or call the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California and ask to speak with the PSC coordinator.

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