CONCORD – Erik Bjork, 38, of Pembroke, was sentenced on Tuesday to 10 years in federal prison for distribution and possession of child sexual abuse material, Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley announced today.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in May of 2019, officers with the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force were conducting online investigations into individuals utilizing peer-to-peer networks (P2P) to share known images of child sexual abuse material on the internet. On May 10, 2019, a detective with the Portsmouth Police Department was able to download five files from a target IP address. Additional monitoring of the target IP address showed more files, all indicative of child sexual abuse material available for download.
The IP address was traced to Bjork’s address in Pembroke. A search warrant was executed and a laptop was seized that contained over 1,600 files of child sexual abuse material, many involving infants and toddlers. Bjork admitted to using P2P networks to obtain and share child sexual abuse material.
Bjork previously pleaded guilty on May 27, 2021. In addition to his prison sentence, Bjork was ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution and over $5,000 in special assessments.
“Child sexual abuse crimes exploit vulnerable young children,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Farley. “By distributing and possessing troubling images of infants and toddlers, this defendant further victimized the children in these images. Such conduct is unacceptable. As this case demonstrates, we will not hesitate to seek substantial prison sentences for those who commit child sexual abuse crimes.”
“The possession and distribution of child exploitation images perpetuates horrific crimes against children,” said Matthew Millhollin, Special Agent in Charge for the Homeland Security Investigations’ Boston Field Office. “We are grateful to our task force partners for the assistance and expertise that make cases like this possible and allow us to remove perpetrators from our communities.”
“The New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force will continue to be vigilant with both reactive and proactive investigations in an effort to ensure the safety of the children of New Hampshire,” said Eric Kinsman, Commander of the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. “NH ICAC is proud to partner with our local and federal law enforcement partners and is thankful for the tireless efforts of the Department of Justice and the US Attorney’s Office.”
This matter was investigated by the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Homeland Security Investigations, the New Hampshire State Police, and Pembroke Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kasey Weiland.
In February 2006, the Department of Justice introduced Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
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