Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Former Officer Andrew Nielsen Pleads Guilty to Possession of Child Porn

A former East Hartford police officer pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Tuesday to one count of possession of child pornography, according a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office.

Andrew W. Nielsen, 49, of South Windsor, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Alfred V. Covello, Thomas Carson stated in a news release.

According to court documents, Nielsen bought several DVDs containing child pornography from a foreign company and had them shipped to his residence. The DVDs, which included pictures of pre-pubescent minors, were purchased between November 2010 and April 2011, Carson said.

Nielsen's home was searched on Nov. 1, 2012, and he was arrested the same day, he said. He resigned from the police department after his arrest.

Nielsen is scheduled to be sentenced on June 18. He faces a maximum prison term of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000.

He has been free on bail and on electronic monitoring under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office since November 2012, Carson said.

The charges stem from a postal service investigation that began in October 2010 into an international company that sold videos and photos believed to contain child pornography, according to Nielsen's arrest affidavit.

Investigators found Nielsen's name and invoice information in the company's database, the affidavit says, and were able to confirm that he was still receiving mail at his Pleasant Valley Road address.

They determined that over the course of about six months, Nielsen had purchased 49 DVDs from the company's website over 15 orders totaling $1,173.55, according to the affidavit.

The DVDs containing child pornography were found during the search, and Nielsen admitted to Postal Inspector Michael J. Connelly that he had ordered them and had them shipped to his house, the warrant states.

Multiple computers were also seized during the search.

The case is being prosecuted by Neeraj N. Patel, assistant U.S. attorney.

The prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood Initiative. The program is intended to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation, the release says.

Anyone who wants more information about Project Safe Childhood is asked to visit http://www.justice.gov/psc.

Those who wish to report cases of child exploitation are asked to visit http://www.cybertipline.com.

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