So it turns out that the federal agency tasked with ferreting out child porn has one of its main offices headed by a child pornographer. Nice! Anthony Mangione, until recently Special Agent in Charge of the Miami Field Office for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), has been charged in federal court with possession, transportation and receiving child porn. Most people aren't aware that it's Customs that hunts down child porn. Those are the guys who raided my apartment and tore the place apart.
Unlike Mr. Mangione, I was only charged with possession since there was nothing on my computer tying me to the 11 images they claimed to have found on a lone zip disc somewhere in my apartment. Mr. Mangione is in a heap of trouble. But let's not jump the gun. True, he is not a Justice Department employee which means there won't be a total whitewash of his charges - had he worked at Justice, the 6 month investigation would have merely resulted in a quiet resignation or reassignment - but ICE looks out for their own too. By all rights and custom, he should be sentenced to 10 years and have to register as a sex offender in Florida - not a happy thing for the 27 year Customs veteran.
So will his superiors at ICE "work this out" for him since he's done so much 'good?' Let's keep an eye on this one. My hunch is the state crazies in Florida will not sit back and watch the feds let this guy off the hook. Florida has plenty of state laws to charge this guy with. Which is why I maintain federal laws in this area are redundant and a terrible waste of money & resources. Here are some stories on his arraignment:
Also look at this link to a Smoking Gun story as to the insane and questionable lengths the federal government is going to in order to entrap people. They are now sending out e-mail invites to men to visit porn sites, that once you type in the URL tells you explicitly that the site is not illegal and has a 'Law Enforcement Note.' Once you preview the site's offerings the FBI captures your IP address and then arrests you. Does no one else believe this crosses some line constitutionally?
Addendum - So here's my question: If Mr. Mangione had viewed these sites as part of his job at ICE and not been arrested, then that's OK legally, right? But if we now believe that he finds these pictures stimulating can they now charge him with having looked at those sites even in his official capacity? Is it only OK to look at these sites if you profess to hate what you're looking at? But if you enjoy it that's when it becomes criminal; even though you've taken no active part in creating the images you're viewing?
I'm guessing to most of you reading this, it all seems to make perfect sense. However, to the rest of us, there is no other area of the law - none - that these tortured constitutional rationalizations would ever be tolerated by court review. I'm just saying.