A Bellmore man was sentenced to five years in prison recently after federal investigators found child pornography in his home in 2012, officials said.
Alfonso Marino, 65, a former New York City teacher, was sentenced on June 25 by U.S. District Judge Leonard Wexler in federal court in Central Islip. He was apprehended by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and charged with possession of child pornography in September 2012.
HSI Special Agent in Charge James Hayes Jr. and U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch of New York’s Eastern District previously explained in a news release that Marino downloaded videos of child pornography onto his computer, which HSI agents seized.
“Marino allegedly hid behind the proverbial blue computer screen for almost 10 years. Our investigation has terminated his alleged addiction to child pornography,” Hayes said in a statement. “Those who think they can engage in these kinds of heinous activities and escape justice by hiding in cyberspace should be forewarned that HSI has the tools and experts at its disposal to protect our children from those who seek to sexually exploit them."
According to the complaint, Marino downloaded child pornography, saved the images on computer disks and stored them in a safe. A preliminary forensic examination of a computer in Marino’s home revealed several video files of child pornography involving prepubescent Asian girls.
The investigation began in March 2012 after HSI special agents with the Child Exploitation Group discovered a publicly accessible website used to send and receive child pornography over the Internet. The investigation revealed that the Internet protocol address was Marino’s.
Marino admitted to collecting child pornography for the past 10 years, said officials, who added that he sought out images of children as young as 7 years old.
Special agents also found a loaded .38 caliber handgun and a .22 caliber semi-automatic Beretta handgun in Marino’s home in 2012. Charges related to Marino’s possession of the weapons are pending, officials said.
Marino had faced up to 10 years in prison. Assistant U.S. Attorney Allen Bode was in charge of the prosecution; he declined comment after Marino’s sentencing. Raymond Baierlein, Marino’s Westbury-based attorney, could not be reached for comment as of press time.