Brattleboro man faces 10 years in prison for child porn
By Susan Smallheer
Staff Writer | April 17,2013
A 59-year-old Brattleboro man has pleaded guilty to charges of possession of child pornography and faces up to 10 years in prison, according to a plea agreement filed in the case.
Samuel Sergi was arrested in August 2012 at his home after FBI agents, aided by Brattleboro police, raided his Lawton Drive residence.
Agents found child pornography videos depicting children as young as a year old on Sergi’s computer, according to court records. Under terms of the plea agreement, Sergi will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Sergi entered into a plea agreement last week in U.S. District Court in Rutland, about two weeks after U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss denied a motion by Sergi’s attorney to suppress statements Sergi made to the FBI agents who were conducting a search of his home.
According to a motion filed by Sergi’s attorney, Sergi was questioned by two FBI agents in a small bedroom in his home with the door closed, and was never given his Miranda warnings.
One FBI agent repeatedly told Sergi he was free to leave, but agents accompanied him when he went into the next room to talk to his wife or get a pack of cigarettes, saying they didn’t want him interfering with the search.
Agents also stated that they originally suspected Sergi’s son with downloading the child pornography, but that Sergi admitted to the agents shortly after they arrived that he had been downloading child pornography for five to six years and that “detection by law enforcement was one of his worst fears.”
Sergi told agents that he maintained a child pornography “library” on his computer and shared the files of videos with others, and held Internet chats with them as well.
According to FBI affidavits filed in the case, Sergi’s computer usage using the Gnutella file-sharing network had come to the attention to FBI agents last spring and summer.
FBI agents based in Alabama had monitored Sergi’s computer usage and his peer-to-peer file sharing, using Limewire and Frostwire, which are two other networks.
Assisting the FBI in the case was the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, according to the court documents.
Sergi was represented by attorney David McColgin, while the case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christina Nolan.