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‘Babies Porn Collector’ On St. Croix Faces 10 Years In Federal Prison After Plea

CHRISTIANSTED — A St. Croix man is facing a decade in federal prison after pleading guilty to having thousands of images and videos that included depictions of babies subjected to violent sexual acts.

Collin Gomes, 26, of Mars Hill, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to possession of child pornography, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

Gomes, a resident of the Canebrake Apartment Complex on Mars Hill Road, made that plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge George Cannon, Jr. in Golden Rock on Thursday.

According to the plea agreement filed with the court, on or about August 16, 2018, September 6, 2018 and October 22, 2018, a Grand Prarie, Texas police detective was conducting an online investigation on the BitTorrent network for offenders sharing child pornography.

An investigation was initiated for a device on the IP address used by the defendant because it was associated with a torrent with a particular infohash.

On each of the dates above, a download of files was successfully completed from the device that the defendant’s IP address was making available. Each download contained child pornography.

On December 14, 2018, HSI executed a search warrant on the defendant’s residence. Agents explained to the defendant what they were searching for and advised him of his rights.

Gomes waived his rights and agreed to speak to the agents. They asked if he viewed, downloaded and made available for download any files containing images or videos depicting child pornography and Gomes said “yes.”

Gomes also told the agents he had an HP computer on which he had child pornography and that he had been downloading child pornography since 2011 and collected thousands of images and videos.

He stated that there was approximately one and a half Terabytes of material. HSI found thousands of child pornography images and videos found on the defendant’s computer and external hard drives.

“Also revealed during the interview of Collin Gomes was at least two separate incidents where he had befriended elementary school-aged children there in the Canebrake Apartments,” court records indicate. “During these two incidents, Collin Gomes admitted to inappropriate sexual conduct with the elementary school-aged male and the elementary school-aged female subject. Collin Gomes stated that these events occurred post hurricane(s) Irma and Maria, (approximately September or October 2017) within the Canebrake Apartment complex.”

Gomes faces a maximum sentence of 10 years and a $250,000 fine.

A sentencing date has been set for March 18, 2020.

The case was investigated by U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rhonda Williams-Henry.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 50 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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