Derry man faces child sex abuse images possession charges
DERRY — A Derry man is facing charges of possession and distribution of child sex abuse images after an investigation in Portland, Ore., allegedly led to his door step, according to court records.
Stephen Cote was arrested last Thursday on counts of possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography, court complaints say.
He is accused of corresponding with another person between last March 8 and June 25, according to a search warrant obtained by the New Hampshire Union Leader.
The names in the warrant have been redacted, but the document was used to seek permission from a judge to seize computer hardware from Cote’s home in Derry last June 7.
Investigators with the Department of Homeland Security in Portland obtained a search warrant for a Google email account around last Jan. 16. Investigators reviewed an email exchange between two people who corresponded from Aug. 10, 2012 to Jan. 13, 2013.
An investigator’s review of the email exchange “revealed that most of the correspondence related to the receipt and distribution of child pornography,” Philip Bleezarde, a special agent with the Department of Homeland Security, said in a sworn affidavit.
One email had an attachment of two images and a message that read: “Let me know. Have others. Private stuff.”
“The two images are part of a known series of child pornography depicting an identified victim,” Bleezarde said in the affidavit. “The series is known to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.”
The affidavit said four zip files were also sent on Sept. 4, 2012 that contained, “numerous images of child erotica and approximately 13 still images and one video of suspected child pornography.”
Another exchange of emails happened between August and September 2012, ending with 112 images being sent to one of the addresses, according to the affidavit.
Investigators then served an administrative summons on Google for subscriber information and an Internet Protocol history for one of the accounts. Investigators used that information to track down a home address to a person using one of the email accounts, according to the affidavit. Before executing the search warrant at Cote’s home, an investigator drove by the residence to check whether the Internet network was protected by a password, the affidavit said.
Cote is currently free on bail after being arraigned in U.S. District Court.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges. The case is set for trial the week of Aug. 19.