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United States v. Larson

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

May 26, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
BRYAN LARSON Defendant

          FINDING AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR FRANKS HEARING AND DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS

          TIMOTHY S. HILLMAN U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         INTRODUCTION

         On June 12, 2015 a search warrant was executed at 11 Manchaug Street, in Douglas, Massachusetts. Digital media seized during the search of that residence contained child pornography. The defendant, Bryan Larson, is charged with the possession of those images and seeks to suppress the fruits of that search warrant, or in the alternative for a hearing pursuant to Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154 (1978). For the reasons set forth those motions are denied.

         STATEMENT OF FACTS

         A warrant to search Mr. Larson's residence was issued on June 11, 2015 by Magistrate Judge Hennessy. That warrant was based upon an affidavit authored by Homeland Security Special Agent Edward Bradstreet. That affidavit related that approximately two weeks before the application for the search warrant, an investigator from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's National Child Exploitation Coordination Centers' Victim Identification/Undercover Unit was reviewing a Russian based website in which many users share suggestive images of minor children. While reviewing the accounts on that website, the RCMP investigator saw that an individual with the user name “ilovemackenzie” was displaying three photo album files. File one was entitled “Kenzie”, file two was called “my toy”, and file three was called “new and nice.”

         The “Kenzie” album contained images of a pre-pubescent female who appeared to be approximately 5 years old, and a pre-pubescent male. Those images were not pornographic. The album file “my toy” contained multiple images of a smaller sized human torso with a vagina and anus. In some of those images the torso is being penetrated by an erect adult male penis, or the penis is depicted on top of the torso. In some of the images the torso is partially clothed with children's Cinderella underwear. In the affidavit, Agent Bradstreet referred to the torso as a “life-like infant torso.” The third album file entitled “new and nice” contained non-pornographic images of children who appeared to be under 5 years old. The individual with the username “Ilovemcdenzie” was displaying the email address guscousa@gmail.com.

         In an effort to capture the IP address of the individual who posted the files, the RCMP investigator sent two emails from separate undercover email accounts to the email address guscousa@gmail.com. The first email reads as follows:

“Hey mac, I would like to trade with you! Here is a little video of my 9 year old daughter! If you like more let's trade! I like you “Kenzie girl”.

         Included in that email was a alleged link to the video. The RCMP investigator sent a second email to that same email which read:

“Here is a little something . . . I am into girls, no boys shit”.
Attached to that email were 8 links which included similar URL's, “http://www.myvirtualfolder.com/main.php?pthc-2015, the beautiful amanda.avi001.”

         In Agent Bradstreet's experience the acronym “pthc” stood for “pre-teen hard core.” The links contained in the two emails were intended to deceive the reader into believing that by clicking on the link they could access child pornography. In reality, the links enabled the RCMP to obtain the internet address of any individual that clicked on the links. Over the course of the next three days, an individual using the IP address 24.151.90.79 attempted to access the link sent by the investigator one eleven occasions. Once that IP address was captured it led the authorities to the defendant's residence. The affiant also learned that the defendant is a Level II sex offender who was convicted of three counts of rape of a child in 1994.

         DISCUSSION

         The Defendant's Motion ...


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