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Man convicted in child porn case

Could face 30 years in prison

POSTED: October 14, 2008 5:00 a.m.

A jury took just 30 minutes to convict a Gainesville man Thursday of receiving and possessing child pornography following a three-day trial in federal court.

Marvin D. Bridges, 37, faces up to 30 years in prison for downloading thousands of sexually explicit images of children onto his computer, according to Patrick Crosby, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.

Bridges was arrested following a September 2007 search of his home by federal authorities investigating a series of Web sites that distributed child pornography, Crosby said.

A search of Bridges’ computer turned up thousands of illegal images and e-mails confirming he was a member of several of the Web sites targeted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

Bridges testified during the trial he had no knowledge of child pornography on his computer, Crosby said. The jury deliberated for just a half-hour before returning with the verdict, he said.

Bridges is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge William C. O’Kelley in December.

U.S. Attorney David Nahmias said that the case against Bridges was the result of coordination between investigators in Washington, D.C., Atlanta and local law enforcement officials.

"This case is a shining example of the value of coordinated, nationwide investigations," Nahmias said in a statement. "This defendant’s illegal purchases of images of children being sexually exploited were identified during the prosecution of a global online purveyor of child pornography."

Kenneth Smith, the special agent in charge of the Atlanta office for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said in a statement that his agency "will continue aggressively pursuing predators who think that they can hide behind the anonymity of cyberspace."

"ICE has zero tolerance for those who exploit the most vulnerable segment of our society — our children," Smith said.



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