Five individuals targeted during a joint child pornography investigation involving numerous law enforcement agencies have been arrested during the past two months, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.
The joint investigation was spearheaded by Taunton Police Officer Randy DeMello, who is a Homeland Security Investigations task force officer. The Boston Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations Cyber Crime Unit partnered with the Bristol County District Attorney, assisting in the pre-warrant investigation, administrative subpoenas, warrant execution, and device examination. Local police departments from Bristol County and the Massachusetts State Police’s Computer Crimes Unit also participated in this extensive investigation.
These law enforcement agencies conducted an investigation into those who possessed and/or shared child pornography over the Internet. The BCDA, through the work of Assistant District Attorney Casey Smith, oversaw the investigation, brought various law enforcement agencies together and assisted local agencies in their warrant applications.
“This is an example of bringing various law enforcement agencies together to target and combat a very serious issue in our country,” District Attorney Quinn said. “We will continue to work together to apprehend individuals who possess and disseminate child pornography for their own personal gratification.”
As a result of the investigation, five defendants were placed under arrest:
1. Christopher Dahlbeck, 31, of Attleboro, was arrested on April 10 after a search warrant was executed at his home. Multiple videos involving child pornography were found on his computer. He was arraigned in Attleboro District Court on charges of possession of child pornography and dissemination of child pornography. His bail was set at $1,000 and he was ordered to be fitted for a GPS monitoring device if he posts bail. He is prohibited from being near any schools or playgrounds, must have no contact with any children, and must not use the Internet.
2. Bernard Croteau, 64, of Fairhaven, was arrested on April 11 after a search warrant was executed at his home. He was arraigned in New Bedford District Court on charges of possessing child pornography and disseminating child pornography. This defendant is alleged to have shared numerous files of child pornography, some involving child rape scenes. An SD card found in his home also contained videos of young female children being sexually assaulted. His bail was set at $10,000 and he was further ordered to have no contact with children and is prohibited from using the Internet.
3. Brent Rainey, 49, of Fall River, was arrested April 18 after a search warrant was executed at his home. He was arraigned in Fall River District Court on charges of possessing child pornography and disseminating child pornography. His bail was set at $1,000. He was ordered to be fitted with a GPS monitoring device if he posted bail, was ordered to not use the Internet and have no contact with children. Police found dozens of files depicting child pornography on his laptop. That computer and several other digital devices were seized and are still being analyzed at this time.
4. Stephen Nazario, 50, of Fall River, was arrested April 25 after a search warrant was executed at his home. The defendant was arraigned in Fall River District Court on two counts of possessing child pornography. His bail was set at $5,000 and he was also ordered to be fitted with a GPS monitoring device if he posted bail. If freed on bail, he is also ordered to abide by a 6 pm to 5 am curfew, have no contact with children, and not use the Internet. The defendant’s cell phone housed numerous images of a children engaged in sex acts and posing in the nude. A preview of his laptop also revealed in excess of 1,000 images and videos of children engaging in sex with adults. All devices were seized for further analysis.
5. Allen Fumo, 44, of New Bedford, was arrested June 4 after a search warrant was executed at his home. The defendant was arraigned in New Bedford District Court on two counts of possessing child pornography and one count of disseminating child pornography. More than 1,000 images of child pornography were found during the execution of the warrant. Bail was set at $10,000. The defendant was ordered to wear a GPS monitoring device and remain in home confinement if he posts the bail.