Suspected of Using Peer-to-Peer Software
United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today that yesterday, a federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment charging Clifford Donald Wells, 55, of Grass Valley, with distribution and possession of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the FBI. Assistant United States Attorney Camil A. Skipper is prosecuting the case.
According to the allegations contained in court documents, in June and August 2010, Wells used peer-to-peer software that allowed authorized users around the world to access and download images from computer directories that Wells made available. An undercover FBI agent in another state downloaded several dozen illegal images from Wells’s computer.
If convicted of distributing child pornography, Wells faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison, with a mandatory minimum sentence of five years. The maximum statutory penalty for possessing child pornography is 10 years in prison. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
The charges are only allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt