Gary Samuel Cochran, Child Porn Convict Swept Up in Peer-to-Peer Network Probe, Cuts Deal with Feds

Categories: Crime-iny
Gary Samuel Cochran, a 53-year-old registered sex offender who was among 55 men nabbed after a multi-agency probe into child pornography exchanged via peer-to-peer networks like Limewire, agreed Thursday to plea guilty to making kiddie porn, federal prosecutors say.

How kiddie? A search of Cochran's Huntington Beach home turned up video he produced of an 8-year-old girl engaged in sex acts.
As part of pleading guilty, Cochran reportedly accepted a sentences of 312 months--or 26 years--in the federal pen. U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson in Los Angeles must still sign off on the deal, which has Cochran getting out nine years earlier than maximum and one year later than minimum sentencing guidelines allow. If the judge, defendant or government back out of the agreement, the case would go to trial. A Nov. 28 hearing should sort this all out.

He puts the "cock" in Cochran.
Cochran, who'd been convicted of child molestation in Orange County in 1991, was among seven men arrested one morning in August 2008 to cap the investigation led by the FBI and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Sophisticated programs were used to track down computers on which child pornography was being stored and made available to others via peer-to-peer networks, according to investigators.

"As criminals exploit technology to commit their crimes-whether it be identity theft, money laundering, distribution of child pornography, or any other criminal conduct-law enforcement will quickly react to develop equally sophisticated means to track down their wrongdoing," U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O'Brien said at the time.

Besides known sex offenders like Cochran, attorneys and law enforcement officers were swept up in the raids, which targeted 55 men in Orange, Riverside, Ventura and Los Angeles counties. Among those arrested was 48-year-old Eric David Lacey, who was living above a child day care center in Hollywood. He'd been previously featured on America's Most Wanted for a child porn case out of North Dakota.

Under the plea deal, Cochran admits to producing sexually explicit videos of the 8-year-old while on a trip to the beach with her family. Investigators say a search of Cochran's home uncovered hundreds of child porn videos, including images of the girl.

"Because children are the most precious and vulnerable members of our communities," U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. says in a statement on Cochran's plea deal, "we will devote everything at our disposal to combat their exploitation."

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