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Shelton Man Sentenced In ICE 'Dark Web' Child Porn Case

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Photo Credit: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

A Fairfield County man was sentenced for possessing child pornography after his conviction in a 'Dark Web' investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations division in New Haven.

The HSI operation led by special agents revealed in 2017 that Michael Hull, 61, of Shelton, was accessing the dark web to search for, view and download child pornography.

He was sentenced in federal court to five years in federal prison and five years of supervised release.

In May 2017, HSI agents and Shelton police officers conducted a court-authorized search of Hull's residence and seized approximately 16 electronic devices, including computers and external hard drives. Forensic analysis of the seized devices revealed 13 images and 126 videos of child pornography, including many images and videos depicting children younger than 12 engaged in sexually explicit conduct, ICE said. Among the items seized were two encrypted tablets and an encrypted hard drive that could not be searched.

"Thanks to the tireless work of our Homeland Security Investigations New Haven office, in close coordination with our local and state partners in the Connecticut Child Exploitation Task Force, this predator has been brought to justice and will no longer be in a position to harm innocent children." said Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent In Charge of HSI Boston.

HSI New Haven's investigation also revealed that Hull had a video camera installed in his bathroom. The camera was connected to a VCR that captured images of individuals, including children, who used his bathroom. Agents located and seized several VHS tapes containing these recordings in the home.

Hull had been detained since his arrest on May 31, 2017. In January 2018, he pleaded guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography. As part of the sentence, the judge also ordered Hull to pay a special assessment of $5,000, which will be used to fund victim services, as pursuant to the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015

This case was investigated by HSI, New Haven, part of Homeland Security Investigations office in Boston; by the Shelton Police Department and by the Connecticut Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The case was prosecuted by the office of John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut.

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