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Chicago Man Convicted of Distributing Child Pornography During Undercover FBI Investigation of “Boy Lovers” Group

CHICAGO—A federal jury today convicted a Crest Hill man of distributing and possessing child pornography, announced Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Robert D. Grant, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The defendant, Mark McGill, 27, was found guilty of one count of distribution and one count of possession of child pornography for using his home computer to transfer and store child pornography in 2009. The jury deliberated a little more than a hour today following a four-day trial last week in U.S. District Court.

McGill, who is in federal custody, faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum of 20 years on the distribution count, and a maximum of 10 years in prison on the possession count, as well as a maximum fine of $250,000 on each count. U.S. District Judge Joan Gottschall scheduled sentencing for 2 p.m. on July 25.

McGill was one of four men who were arrested in the Chicago area in September 2009 as part of an undercover investigation by the FBI’s Innocent Images Task Force of an informal group of self-described “Boy Lovers.” According to a cooperating defendant who testified at trial, McGill attended at least one party with members of the group and they showed each other child pornography. In August 2009, McGill gave the cooperating defendant a thumb drive containing approximately 3,500 images and nearly 60 videos, mostly depicting nude minor boys, many engaged in sexual acts. The same images and videos were recovered from McGill’s computer, which agents seized while executing a search warrant at his home when he was arrested, according to the evidence at trial.

A total of six defendants in Chicago have now been convicted as a result of this investigation, as well as additional defendants in other federal jurisdictions.

The government is being ­represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tiffany Tracy and John Kness.

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