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Alex Jones Claims Plaintiffs’ Lawyers ‘Set Me Up’ With Child Porn

InfoWars host Alex Jones claimed he had been set up after child porn was reportedly found in records he sent to Sandy Hook families as the ongoing lawsuit against him continues.

As CT Post reported on Monday, the lawyers for the families said in a court filing that they took evidence to the FBI when electronic records Jones had turned over as part of the lawsuit contained child pornography. The families have sued Jones for spreading conspiracy theories that the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax.

Jones has tried to say that he is being set up, but in lashing out at the families’ law firm, he may have made things worse.

“You’re trying to set me up with child porn, I’ll get your ass,” Jones said on an episode of his show. “One million dollars, you little gang members. One million dollars to put your head on a pike.”

The lawyers say Jones threatened attorney Chris Mattei specifically.

Jones has since denied that these comments were threats.

Koskoff, Koskoff, and Bieder, the law firm that the Sandy Hook families hired, said that it turned over the illicit content to the FBI after reviewing emails that were discovered in the course of the lawsuit.

“The FBI advised counsel that its review located numerous additional illegal images, which had apparently been sent to InfoWars email addresses,” the lawyers stated in court documents.

The lawyers also noted that Jones likely did not review the files before they were sent, because knowingly transmitting it to the lawyers would be a federal crime.

The Infowars host said in a video that the FBI told him that InfoWars is the victim here and that more information will be coming out soon.

Former Subway Pitchman To Plead Guilty To Child Pornography Charges

By Susan Guyett

INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) – Former Subway sandwich chain pitchman Jared Fogle will plead guilty on Wednesday to charges of child pornography and paying for sex with minors, according to a plea agreement and indictment released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Indianapolis.

Prosecutors and the defense have agreed that Fogle will be sentenced to between five and 12 years in prison in exchange for the guilty plea, but a judge would have to approve that deal, according to the court filing.

Subway fired Fogle on Tuesday when reports of the plea deal emerged. Ron Elberger, Fogle’s attorney, said he had no immediate comment.

FBI special agents photographed and fingerprinted Fogle at the FBI field office in Indianapolis on Wednesday and transported him to the federal courthouse where he will make his initial appearance at 11 a.m. EDT, FBI spokeswoman Wendy Osborne said.

Prosecutors will hold a news conference at 12:30 p.m. EDT.

Authorities searched Fogle’s Indiana home in July, two months after the executive director of his foundation, set up to combat childhood obesity, was arrested on federal child pornography charges.

According to the indictment, the head of the Jared Foundation, Russell Taylor, secretly taped 12 minors while they were changing clothes, showering and bathing at his home, including two who were as young as 13 or 14 years old. He shared the images with Fogle, who knew they showed minors, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said Fogle also received commercial child pornography from Taylor and viewed it and failed to report it.

Fogle traveled twice to New York City between 2010 and 2013 and paid for sex with two girls who were 17 years old at the time, according to the indictment. He knew they were minors, according to the charges.

Prosecutors said he repeatedly sought sex with minors when he contacted escort services, or in contacts with other women.

Under the plea agreement, Fogle would have to register as a sex offender, receive treatment for sexual disorders, and pay $100,000 each to the 14 minor victims.

Fogle became a Subway spokesman after losing a reported 245 pounds in part by eating regularly at the sandwich chain. He made his first Subway commercial in 2000, and appeared in a new one last year, according to Subway.

When authorities searched his home in the Zionsville suburb northwest of Indianapolis last month, they removed bags, boxes and briefcases. Fogle has kept a low profile since then.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit and Susan Guyett in Indianapolis; Writing by Fiona Ortiz in Chicago; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

Photo: In this photo provided by Subway, Jared Fogle (L), signs a copy of his new book “Jared, The Subway Guy” for Alex Moser (C) and Gigi Garmendia (R) outside a Subway Restaurant in Rockefeller Center, New York City, August 21, 2006. REUTERS/Subway/Ray Stubblebine/HO   

Child-Porn Conviction Is Tossed: Navy Surveillance Is Blamed

By Mike Carter, The Seattle Times

SEATTLE — Navy criminal investigators repeatedly and routinely peeked into the computers of private citizens in Washington state and elsewhere, a violation of the law so “massive” and egregious that an appeals court says it has no choice but to throw out the evidence against an Algona, Washington, man sentenced to 18 years in prison for distribution of child pornography.

The three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a decision handed down last week, said the 2012 prosecution of Michael Allan Dreyer by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle demonstrated Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) agents “routinely carry out broad surveillance activities that violate” the Posse Comitatus Act, a Reconstruction-era law that prohibits the military from enforcing civilian laws.

The court called the violations “extraordinary” and said evidence presented in Dreyer’s prosecution appears to show that “it has become a routine practice for the Navy to conduct surveillance of all the civilian computers in an entire state to see whether any child pornography can be found on them, and then to turn over that information to civilian law enforcement when no military connection exists.”

That is what happened to Dreyer, now 60, who became the target of an NCIS investigation in 2010 when Agent Steve Logan, who was stationed in Georgia, used a law-enforcement software program called “RoundUp” to troll for child pornography on computers in Washington using a legal file-sharing network called “Gnutella.”

According to court documents, Logan identified a computer sharing suspicious files, downloaded three of them, then got a subpoena for Comcast, which identified Dreyer as the IP address owner.

Logan, according to court documents, checked to see if Dreyer was a member of the armed forces and determined he was not.

Logan then summarized his investigation and forwarded it to the NCIS office in Washington state, which turned it over to the Algona Police Department, according to the documents.

The case was filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in federal court, where Dreyer faced up to 40 years in prison due to a prior conviction.

Dreyer was arrested in April 2011 and fought to suppress the evidence, which included explicit videos of adults having sex with preteen boys and girls.

U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman allowed the videos to be used and Dreyer was convicted of possession and distribution of child pornography after a four-day jury trial in September 2012. Dreyer — who previously had served 27 months for a federal child-pornography conviction in 2000 — was sentenced to 18 years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release when he gets out.

However, the 9th Circuit judges found the NCIS behavior so outrageous that it “demonstrates the need to deter future violations” and sent Dreyer’s case back to the district court with an order that Pechman exclude the NCIS evidence against him.

Erik Levin, the former federal public defender who represented Dreyer during his trial and appeal, said the ruling likely means he will go free.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is considering asking the case be reheard by the entire Court of Appeals. U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan, whose office prosecuted Dreyer and argued the appeal, said Wednesday it is possible the court misunderstood some of the technology the agent was using and the scope of his searches.

Durkan said some information in the 9th Circuit’s opinion “is wrong.”

Otherwise, she said she could not comment on pending litigation.

Telephone and email messages sent to NCIS headquarters in Washington, D.C., were not returned Wednesday.

The government, in its appellate briefs, argued Logan was a civilian employee of the NCIS, and that his role in the investigation was peripheral and fell within exceptions to the Posse Comitatus Act.

The panel unanimously, and strongly, disagreed.

Senior 9th Circuit Judge Andrew Kleinfeld found that the case “amounts to the military acting as a national police force to investigate civilian law violations by civilians.”

“There could be no bona fide military purpose to this indiscriminate peeking into civilian computers,” Kleinfeld wrote. “Letting a criminal go free to deter national military investigation of civilians is worth it.”

The judges also excoriated the government for defending the role of the NCIS and its investigation and said the court has warned the Justice Department about it before. This time, the court said, the violation comes with a price to get the government’s attention — Dreyer’s release from prison.

“Such an expansive reading of the military role in the enforcement of civilian laws demonstrates a profound lack of regard for the important limitations on the role of the military in our civilian society,” wrote Judge Marsha Berzon.

Logan, the NCIS agent, had argued he had chosen to scan computers in Washington partly because of the state’s many military bases.

While he initially was only able to identify the suspect’s whereabouts within a 30-mile radius of the IP address he identified, he wrote in a search warrant that the “large [U.S. Navy/Department of Defense] saturation” indicated a “likelihood” the suspect was in the military.

By that logic, Berzon said, Posse Comitatus would be “rendered meaningless.”

“To accept that position would mean that NCIS agents could, for example, routinely stop suspected drunk drivers in downtown Seattle on the off-chance that a driver is a member of the military, and then turn over all information collected about civilians to the Seattle Police Department for prosecution.”

The opinion comes as the reach of government and law enforcement has come under fire after a series of disclosures of domestic surveillance by former National Security Administration systems analyst Edward Snowden.

Levin, who now practices law in Berkeley, California, also noted the controversy over the so-called “militarization of police” in the aftermath of the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting death by police of a black teenager. Exceptions to the Posse Comitatus Act allow the military to provide some equipment to police.

“This,” Levin said, “is the real militarization of police — when the military becomes the police.”

AFP Photo/Greg Wood

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Supreme Court Sets Aside $3.4-Million Verdict For Child-Porn Victim

By David G. Savage, Tribune Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Victims of child pornography whose images of sexual abuse have circulated on the Internet may claim damages from every person caught with illegal images, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

But justices rejected the idea that a single person who possesses such images may be assessed the full amount due to the victim, setting aside a $3.4-million verdict against a Texas man in a favor of a woman whose childhood rape was photographed and widely circulated on the Internet.

The 5-4 decision upholds part of the Violence Against Women Act, which calls for restitution to victims of child pornography, but it adopts a middle-ground position on how to set the amount. It said those who possess the images must pay something because they have contributed to the abuse.

“It makes sense to spread the payment among a larger number of offenders in amounts more closely in proportion to their respective causal roles and their own circumstances,” said Justice Anthony Kennedy. “This would serve the twin goals of helping the victim achieve eventual restitution for all of her child pornography losses and impressing upon offenders the fact that child pornography crimes, even simple possession, affect real victims.”

His opinion in Paroline v. United States leaves it to federal judges to decide on the proper amount in each case.

The case began when a young women using the name “Amy” learned the photos of her sexual abuse as a young child were circulating on the Internet. Her abuser was her uncle who was prosecuted and paid $6,000 in restitution.

Amy went to courts around the country seeking restitution orders from others who had pleaded guilty to child pornography charges for possessing her images. One of them was a Texas man named Doyle Paroline.

A federal judge refused to order Paroline to pay restitution because there was no proof his offense caused or contributed to Amy’s abuse. But a federal appeals court in New Orleans, taking the opposite approach, ruled for Amy and said Paroline was responsible for paying the full amount she had sought, a total of $3.4 million.

The Supreme Court reversed that judgment, but said Paroline can be required to pay a reasonable amount in line with his role in the crime.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented, saying Congress had failed to make clear how judges should decide on the damages.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented separately, saying the defendant should be assessed the full amount of the required restitution.

Photo: Matt H. Wade via Wikimedia Commons