WILMINGTON — A Wilmington man has been convicted for two counts of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography containing minors under the age of 12, according to the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert Higdon Jr.
Ricardo Jerome Bennett Sr., 47, of Wilmington was found guilty for crimes dating back to 2014 in federal court.
According to a press release, “In August 2014, the Federal Bureau of Investigation utilized undercover software to identify an IP address downloading child pornography and offering such files for download by others. A search warrant was issued for the home address associated with the IP address. During that search, law enforcement confiscated multiple electronic devices belonging to Bennett. In addition, Bennett made a full confession to law enforcement to downloading and possessing child pornography.”
More than 1,000 files of child pornography were found including both photos and videos, including minors under the age of 12, engaged in sexually explicit activity.
“This case was part of the Project Safe Childhood initiative, a national program
aimed at ensuring that criminals exploiting children are effectively prosecuted by
making full use of all available law enforcement resources at every level. For more
information about this important national project, Project Safe Childhood, go to
www.projectsafechildhood.gov,” according to the release.
A previous press release from May when Bennett was indicted said, “If convicted of these charges, Bennett would face a maximum of twenty years’ imprisonment and up to a lifetime of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.”