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Probation Officer Convicted on Child Porn Charges

Police said Coventry man and probation officer bought 75 child porn DVDs in 22 orders from a web site raided by investigators in 2011. A jury deliberated for less than an hour.

A state probation officer assigned to the sex offender unit was convicted Monday by a federal court jury on multiple child porn charges.

Gerald J. Silva, 59, of Coventry, was convicted on six counts of receiving child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography, the state U.S. Attorney's office announced.

Silva reportedly spent $1,589 on child porn from a Toronto company that was busted in a major sting in 2011. Dubbed "Operation Spade," investigators from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Toronto Police Service got a list of more than 10,000 customers of Azov Films, a company police said was producing child porn DVDs and selling them to people in more than 90 countries.

Silva was a customer of Azov Films and records showed he bought 75 different films, most of them explicitly depicting minors and prepubescent boys. The films were purchased in 22 separate orders placed on the Toronto company's Web site.

Postal Inspectors, along with Coventry Police and Rhode Island State Police troopers and members of the Internet Crimes Against Children task force, executed a search warrant at Silva's house on Sept. 27 of 2012. They seized numerous DVDs and a laptop computer that contained child porn.

In court, Silva claimed he was buying and collecting the videos "as part of a project he had undertaken in his role as a state probation officer," according to a release. 

The jury returned guilty verdicts on all charges after less than an hour of deliberations on Monday.

Silva is now due to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith on May 16. He will remain in prison as he waits for sentencing and could face anywhere from 5 to 20 years in prison for receipt of child pornography and up to 10 years for possession of child pornography. He also faces lifetime supervised release.
kaiapolofsky March 03, 2014 at 08:32 AM
Lock him up for ever and keep our children safe!!!!

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