Charleston Man Charged with Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Daniel Blow, 39, of Charleston, Vermont was arrested yesterday during the execution of a search warrant at his residence.  Blow was charged today by criminal complaint with possession of child pornography, also referred to as child sexual abuse material.  Blow is scheduled to appear tomorrow before United States Magistrate Judge Kevin J. Doyle.   

According to court records, a social media company reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that a user had uploaded 41 files of suspected child sexual abuse material.  NCMEC referred the tip to the Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.  Records from the social media company provided IP address information for the user which corresponded to the residence of Daniel Blow in Charleston.  A check of Blow’s criminal history revealed a prior felony conviction in New York State for possessing a sexual performance by a child less than 16 years of age.  Agents with Homeland Security Investigations  conducted additional investigation and obtained a federal search warrant for Blow’s residence.  During the execution of the search warrant, a Vermont State Police forensic examiner discovered images of child sexual abuse material on Blow’s cellular phone and his desktop computer.  On a small video recording device, agents discovered a covertly recorded video of a teenage child changing clothes, with Blow visible at the beginning of the video while hiding the camera, and at the end of the video while retrieving the camera.  In addition, agents seized multiple rifles and shotguns from Blow’s residence, including an M-4 style Colt rifle.  

The United States Attorney’s Office emphasizes that a criminal complaint contains allegations only and that Blow is presumed innocent until and unless convicted of a crime.  Due to his prior conviction, Blow faces a sentence of between 10 and 20 years of imprisonment on the current charges.

United States Attorney Nikolas P. Kerest commended the investigatory efforts of Homeland Security Investigations, the Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the Vermont State Police.  He also thanked the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department for their assistance in the search of Blow’s residence and his subsequent arrest.

The prosecutor is Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan Ophardt.  Blow is represented by the Federal Public Defender.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and Child Exploitation Obscenity Section, Criminal Division (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.