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St. Thomas Man Guilty of Receiving Child Pornography

June 18, 2008 — A St. Thomas man faces at least five years in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to receiving child pornography via the Internet.
Bradley Douglas Highbarger, also known as Douglas Jerome Stien, 35, of St. Thomas, was indicted Feb.15, 2007, on two counts of receiving child pornography via the Internet. He pleaded guilty in federal court in the District of the Virgin Islands, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
The charges were developed after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, investigating crimes involving passport fraud and controlled substances, searched Highbarger's home in July 2006.
"Using an additional search warrant, agents uncovered approximately 78 video clips and more than 30 images on Highbarger's computer that depicted the sexual abuse of children," the release said. "In his guilty plea, Highbarger admitted to using a file-sharing or peer-to-peer software program to receive an illegal video and a separate illegal image in July 2006."
Highbarger has been held since his arrest July 20, 2006. Under the plea agreement, he faces a minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years. He also faces a maximum fine of $250,000 and up to a lifetime term of supervised release. He will also forfeit computer and electronic media used in his crimes.
"This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse," the release said. "Led by the U.S. Attorneys' Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims."
For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit projectsafechildhood.gov/.
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