A lieutenant from Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., was indicted after a grand jury concluded he distributed child pornography on eight occasions between Oct. 2015 and Jan. 2016, and possessed child pornography between May 2014 and Jan. 2016.

Jesse Furse, 34, was arrested Feb. 10 and a federal grand jury sitting in Albuquerque indicted him on the charges on Tuesday.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Laura Flashing ordered that Furse be detained after the grand jury returned its findings. He will remain in federal custody pending trial on the charges in the indictment.

Furse is scheduled for arraignment on the indictment on March 9, 2017.

According to the Department of Justice in N.M., an investigation was initiated in Oct. 2015, when an agent with the New Mexico Internet Crimes against Children (ICAC) Task Force, who was conducting an investigation into computers in the Albuquerque-area that were receiving, sharing, possessing and/or distributing child pornography, came upon a device using a specific IP address that allegedly was being used to share child pornography.

In Jan. 2016, after the investigation by Albuquerque Police Department revealed the IP address was registered to Furse at an address located on Kirtland AFB, the investigation was referred to Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI).

On Jan. 29, 2016, AFOSI obtained a search warrant from a Military Magistrate, and AFOSI and APD executed the search warrant and seized a computer and computer-related media from Furse’s on-base residence. The FBI joined the investigation in Feb. 2016, and obtained a federal search warrant for the computer-related evidence seized from Furse’s residence in March 2016.

In an attempt to allegedly cover up the crime, the DOJ says Furse had encrypted the information on his machines.

The DOJ reports experts at the FBI’s New Mexico Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory (RCFL) made multiple attempts to access the computer-related evidence between March 2016 and Feb. 2017. This month, RCFL experts were able successfully to access the computer-related evidence.

The criminal complaint alleges that a preliminary review of the contents of a hard drive seized from Furse’s residence contained approximately 1,400 video files consistent with child pornography.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, Furse’s attorney said his client doesn’t have any criminal history.

“We are right now conducting a lot of investigation and research that will culminate in our motion to seek Jesse’s release,” said David Serna, Furse’s attorney.

The continuing investigation is being handled by the Albuquerque office of the FBI, New Mexico ICAC Task Force, AFOSI, APD, and RCFL. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Mease is prosecuting the case as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.
The case also was brought as a part of the New Mexico (ICAC) Task Force’s mission, which is to locate, track, and capture Internet child sexual predators and internet child pornographers in New Mexico, according to the DOJ.

Each distribution charge carries a minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The possession charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, as reported by the Albuquerque Journal.

Click here to read Furse’s indictment in its entirety.

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