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How a Palm Beach County Schools Detective Busted a Kiddie-Porn Downloader

Palm City air conditioner salesman David Frederick Hayden was sentenced to 20 years in prison yesterday for receiving child pornography over the internet, and it was Palm Beach County Schools Det. Stephen Santos who helped put him there.


It started in late March last year, when Santos was "working in an undercover capacity," according to court documents, surveying a peer-to-peer network in which individual computers act as download servers; rather than many people downloading data from a website, the network allows users to directly connect with one another to share files.

Santos found an IP address -- 668.153.223.252 -- associated with a computer that was sharing 91 separate files that were flagged as "child notable" in the police department's Child Protection Service Database, which flags child pornography files that have come up in previous investigations.

Santos is a member of the South Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force; while he was investigating, Charlie Ramos, another task force member, downloaded five files from Hayden's IP address. All five were of child pornography, and all five are described in graphic detail that doesn't need to be elaborated upon here except to say they all sound like clear-cut illegal grossness. I'll leave the document at the end.

Investigators then subpoenaed AT&T to get the user information associated with the IP address and were told it was registered to Hayden, at 4600 Grove St. in Palm City, a business registered as "Hayden Air." Police arrived June 7.

As documented by Martin County Sheriff's Office Det. Brian Broughton:
During a non-custodial and voluntary interview, Hayden admitted to using the file sharing software, Shareaza, to download pornography. Hayden admitted to viewing young children engaging in sexual activity. He also admitted to downloading files of young children using search terms such as "lsm" and "stickam". Hayden thought that since the files were so readily available, that it wasn't illegal. Furthermore, Hayden stated that he did not realize he was sharing and had no intent to share the files.
Broughton then searched the office. He found a desktop computer with the Shareaza software running.

"Hundreds of files were currently being downloaded," Broughton wrote. "Many of the files being downloaded had names indicative of child pornography."

Further examination showed that Hayden had more than 30 video files of child pornography on his computer, plus 60 incomplete files mixed in with adult pornography.

"The child pornography depicted in both folders included depictions of prepubescent children engaged in sexual activity with other children, adults, and themselves," Broughton wrote.

Hayden's representation tried several maneuvers to get out of the charges, several claiming things like the evidence "mostly involved videos created by post pubescent teenagers... only a very few (perhaps one (1) to five (5)) of the videos/images found on the Defendant's computer contained 'traditional' child pornography."

Didn't work. Hayden got 20 years -- the maximum sentence.



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