Florida trucker gets three years for having child pornography on laptop

Posted Jan. 17, 2013, at 7:11 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A Florida trucker was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court to three years in prison on one count of possession of child pornography.

Douglas Danford, 40, of Port St. Lucie, Fla., also was sentenced to five years of supervised release and ordered to pay a $2,000 fine.

Danford pleaded guilty in August and has been held without bail since then while awaiting sentencing.

“I am very sorry for my actions and also very ashamed,” Danford told U.S. District Court Judge John Woodcock shortly before the sentence was imposed. “I will use my time to try to make myself a better person.”

Danford came to the attention of law enforcement in December 2009 when he entered the U.S. at the Houlton Port of Entry, according to court documents. Customs and Border Patrol officers found his name on a list of people who might have purchased child pornography.

More than 600 still and video images were found on the laptop he had with him.

The Florida trucker in 2009 cooperated with officials who confiscated his computer but did not charge or arrest him, Woodcock said prior to imposing the sentence. Danford was indicted by a federal grand jury a year ago and was arrested in Florida. No pornography was found on his computers seized earlier this year, the judge said.

Danford faced up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Under the prevailing federal sentencing guidelines, he faced between four years and three months and five years and three months in federal prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Lowell recommended Danford spend four years and three months in prison. Defense attorney Stephen Smith urged Woodcock to impose a three-year sentence.

The judge said he imposed a shorter sentence than the guidelines recommended because Danford immediately cooperated with authorities, stopped collecting child pornography after he was caught at the border and did not trade or share the images with others.

Under the terms of his supervised release, Danford will have to undergo sex offender treatment and mental health counseling. He also will have to register as a sex offender.

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