LAWFUEL – Law News Network – A former deputy with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department pleaded guilty this afternoon to a federal charge of possession of child pornography for having more than 600 images on his home computer and computer media.
Patrick Francis Calcagno, 49, of Murietta, pleaded guilty to the felony offense in United States District Court in Los Angeles. As a result of his guilty plea, Calcagno could be sentenced to as much as 10 years in federal prison.
The child pornography was found on Calcagno’s computer and compact discs when federal investigators executed a search warrant as his residence in May 2004. Calcagno was indicted in March 2006.
The case against Calcagno stems from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that targeted Regpay, a Belarus-based Internet billing firm that was providing credit card billing services for 50 child pornography websites worldwide and operating child porn websites on its own. Having dismantled the leadership of the enterprise, ICE agents turned their focus to those who purchased child porn subscriptions from these sites in the U.S. and abroad. So far, more than 1,200 individuals have been arrested worldwide in the investigation.
According to a plea agreement filed in this case, Calcagno knew that the images were pornographic and knew that some of them depicted children under 12 years of age.
“Those who engage in the exploitation of children should no longer expect the anonymity of cyberspace to protect them,” said Kevin Kozak, deputy special agent in charge for ICE office of investigations in Los Angeles. “This case shows that sexual predators come from all walks of life. They do not fit any particular stereotype.”
Calcagno, who left the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in March, is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge A. Howard Matz on November 30.
ICE encourages the reporting of suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an ICE partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.
CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Brian R. Michael
Release No. 05-096